US health secretary tests positive for COVID on Germany trip

·1 min read

BERLIN (AP) — Another member of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet has tested positive for COVID-19.

U.S. Health Secretary Xavier Becerra tested positive for the virus on Wednesday while visiting Berlin, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services said. Becerra is fully vaccinated and was experiencing mild symptoms.

HHS spokeswoman Sarah Lovenheim said he will continue to work in isolation.

Becerra was last at the White House last Thursday. He is not considered a close contact of Biden.

Becerra was in Berlin for a meeting of health ministers from the Group of Seven wealthy nations on Thursday and Friday. The meeting’s focus is on drawing lessons from the pandemic, protecting the vulnerable and unvaccinated from COVID-19, and how to ease the strain on health systems.

On Tuesday, Becerra met with Germany’s health minister, Karl Lauterbach. He separately met the head of Germany’s disease control agency, Lothar Wieler, two of the country’s top virus experts and the management of Berlin’s biggest hospital, Charite.

None of their offices immediately responded to requests for comment.

Pictures posted on social media of the meetings with Wieler showed the men standing close together outside without masks, but wearing masks while indoors.

Prior to Berlin, Becerra attended a meeting of health ministers in Bali, Indonesia.

A wave of coronavirus cases has spread recently through Washington’s political class, infecting Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, White House staffers and lawmakers including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

___

Murphy reported from Indianapolis.

Frank Jordans And Tom Murphy, The Associated Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting