Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

US health secretary tests positive for Covid on Germany trip

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Another member of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet has tested positive for Covid-19.

US 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.

Mr Becerra is fully vaccinated and was experiencing mild symptoms.

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

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

Mr 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, Mr 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 Mr Wieler showed the men standing close together outside without masks, but wearing masks while indoors.

Prior to Berlin, Mr 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.

Ashley Biden
Ashley Biden (Mark Duncan/AP)

Meanwhile, Ashley Biden, the daughter of President Biden and Jill Biden, also has Covid-19 and is no longer accompanying her mother on a trip through Latin America, the White House said on Wednesday.

She is not considered a close contact to either of her parents, said Michael LaRosa, the first lady’s spokesperson.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said it had been “several days” since the president and first lady last saw their daughter.

Ashley Biden’s positive test result was announced just before Jill Biden’s flight Wednesday to Ecuador, the first stop on her six-day Latin America trip.

The first lady also planned to visit Panama and Costa Rica before returning to Washington next week.

It is the second time that coronavirus has caused Ashley Biden, 40, to miss out on traveling abroad with her mother.

Earlier in May, she was bumped from the first lady’s trip to Eastern Europe to visit with Ukrainian refugees after learning that she had been a close contact of someone who later tested positive for Covid-19.

Ashley Biden had tested negative after that exposure, Mr LaRosa said.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention defines “close contact” with an infected person as spending 15 minutes or more with them over a 24-hour period.

The CDC says people with “close contact” do not need to quarantine if they are up to date on their vaccines but should wear well-fitting masks around other people for 10 days after the contact.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]