US Transportation Secretary to isolate after Covid contact

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will quarantine for 14 days after a member of his security tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The agent had been in close contact with Buttigieg “including this morning prior to the agent’s positive result”, Department of Transportation’s Chief of Staff Laura Schiller said in a statement on Monday.

Buttigieg tested negative Monday and has had no symptoms, Xinhua news agency quoted Schiller as further saying in the statement.

The Secretary had received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in recent weeks, and will be administered the second jab when his quarantine is completed, the Chief of Staff added.

Speaking to CNN later in the day, Buttigieg said that both he and the Covid infected agent “felt fine”.

“I did have a negative test today and I feel fine. I spoke to the agent and he feels all right as well. He’s not having any symptoms but he did test positive,” he was quoted as saying.

Buttigieg, 39, former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was sworn in as the Transportation Secretary on February.

Also a former Democratic presidential candidate, he is the first openly gay Cabinet member in US history.

Buttigieg is also the youngest Cabinet secretary in the Joe Biden administration and the youngest person to serve as the Transportation Secretary.

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