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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Announces He's Tested Positive for COVID

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Sunday through a lengthy Twitter thread that he has tested positive for COVID. Because he is fully vaccinated and has had a booster, his symptoms are mild. The secretary has also not met with the president since December 21, when he tested negative.


The Omicron variant has been particularly transmissible but is also "mild," especially for those who have been fully vaccinated with a booster. 

While the secretary "encourage[d] everyone eligible for a booster shot to get one," employees in his department are not merely "encourage[d]" to get vaccinated. As Austin himself tweeted, the vaccines "remain a military medical requirement for our workforce." The mandate came in August, with each branch enforcing its own deadlines. 

As Madeline reported on Thursday, 206 Marines were removed from service for not getting vaccinated. 

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