Health Secretary Becerra tests positive for COVID-19 during trip to Berlin
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday while traveling in Berlin, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced.
“This morning in Berlin, ahead of G7 meetings for health ministers, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra tested positive for COVID-19 after taking a PCR test,” HHS spokeswoman Sarah Lovenheim said in a statement. “He is fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, and is experiencing mild symptoms. He will continue to perform his duties as HHS Secretary, working in isolation.”
The statement added that Becerra most recently visited the White House on Thursday and that President Biden is not considered a close contact.
Becerra is the latest in a string of high-profile Biden administration officials to contract the virus as the United States sees a surge in cases. Vice President Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken both recently had the virus.
Biden so far has avoided having a known case of the virus, but the White House has acknowledged it is possible he will be infected as well. The administration argues that tools like vaccines, booster shots and treatments now exist that make the virus much more manageable.
The White House did warn earlier on Wednesday that it needs funding from Congress to be able to purchase enough updated vaccines for all Americans ahead of an expected new wave in the fall and winter.
“[Becerra] remains fully engaged with the duties of HHS Secretary while in isolation in Berlin, and looks forward to resuming in-person meetings, as soon as possible,” Lovenheim said.
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