More than half of President Biden’s cabinet members have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent months.
None of the officials showed serious symptoms and all recovered quickly. All were also fully vaccinated and all but one received a booster shot when they were infected.
Home Secretary Deb Haaland was the latest Cabinet member to announce a positive test, which she did on Wednesday.
Here are the Cabinet members who have tested positive for COVID-19 since late 2021.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tested positive for a breakthrough case in October during routine pre-trip protocols and reported having “mild congestion”.
A breakthrough case occurs when a fully vaccinated individual tests positive for COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
CDC data at the time indicated that an unvaccinated person was six times more likely to test positive than a vaccinated person. Mayorkas was fully vaccinated but had yet to receive a booster, The Washington Post reported.
CNN reported that Mayorkas planned to travel with Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Colombia.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement in early January that he tested positive at home and would stay there for five days while recovering.
He said he would retain his responsibilities, but Undersecretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks would represent him “when appropriate”.
Austin was infected as the initial wave of omicron drove the national average of cases to 150,000 per week.
The CDC had changed its quarantine guidelines about a week prior, shortening the time frame from 10 days to five days for people who are asymptomatic or those whose symptoms are improving.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo tested positive in early April after experiencing mild symptoms and taking an at-home test.
She was among several high profile political leaders who tested positive after attending the annual Gridiron Club dinner a few days earlier. The dinner brings together an array of politicians and journalists and features comedic speeches and skits roasting those involved in politics.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, who also attended the Gridiron dinner on April 2, tested positive for COVID-19 days after Raimondo. The Justice Department said he had no symptoms but would self-isolate at home for at least five days, in accordance with CDC advice.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack tweeted that he also tested positive three days after Garland’s announcement. Vilsack had also been present at the Gridiron dinner.
Vice President Kamala Harris was infected with the virus in late April after receiving positive rapid and PCR test results. She had shown no symptoms and had not been around President Biden or First Lady Jill Biden in the days before she tested positive, the vice president’s office said.
The second gentleman, Doug Emhoff, tested positive in March, but Harris continued to test negative during this time.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken tested positive the first week of May and had mild symptoms. The State Department said he would work from home for a week.
Jen Psaki, then White House press secretary, said President Biden was not in close contact with Blinken, having not seen him in several days.
Xavier Becerra, health and social services secretary, tested positive last month while visiting Berlin for a Group of Seven meeting for health ministers. A department spokeswoman said Becerra would continue her responsibilities while in isolation.
Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he had tested positive for COVID-19saying he planned to isolate and follow CDC guidelines as he contemplated a “speedy recovery.”
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland received a positive COVID-19 test on Wednesday after experiencing mild symptoms.
Haaland had received two booster shots, according to a statement from the Interior Ministry. She was supposed to go to the West Coast, but is working remotely instead.
Haaland tweeted that she urges everyone to stay up to date on their vaccines so they have milder symptoms if infected.