Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time in seven months despite receiving four vaccine doses, he announced in a statement Monday.
“This morning, I tested positive for COVID-19. I am experiencing mild symptoms, and will quarantine at home for the next five days in accordance with CDC guidelines. I will retain all authorities and plan to maintain my normal work schedule virtually from home,” he said in a statement.
He last had COVID-19 in January of this year.
He said his doctor told him that his “fully-vaccinated status, including two booster shots” is why his symptoms are less severe than would otherwise be the case.
He said his last in-person contact with President Joe Biden was more than two weeks ago, on July 29.
Austin continued to promote vaccination against COVID-19, despite vaccination’s apparent inability to prevent contraction of the virus and the Centers for Disease Control dramatically relaxing their guidelines for the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
“Vaccinations continue to both slow the spread of COVID-19 and to make its health effects less severe. Vaccination remains a medical requirement for our workforce, and I continue to encourage everyone to get fully vaccinated and boosted,” Austin said.
He ordered in August 2021 that all U.S. service members be fully-vaccinated.
Since then, tens of thousands of U.S. service members have filed for exemptions on religious and other grounds and are awaiting adjudication. More than 7,000 have been kicked out of the military for not complying with Austin’s order.
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