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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to quarantine after security agent tests positive

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will quarantine for 14 days after a member of his security detail tested positive for Covid-19, department chief of staff Laura Schiller said in a statement.

Schiller’s statement says the agent has been in “close contact” with Buttigieg as recently as Monday morning.

Buttigieg tested negative Monday and has not shown any symptoms, the statement said.

Buttigieg has received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and Schiller said he will receive the second dose when he completes the quarantine period.

An additional member of the security team will also quarantine due to close contact with the agent.

The transportation secretary has previously expressed a commitment to combating the virus.

Buttigieg said last month during his confirmation hearing that the Biden administration will look at “all relevant authorities” at its disposal for a federal mask mandate on all forms of transportation.

“We are prepared to make sure that we use all relevant authorities to enforce the President’s executive order to ensure that across all modes of transportation, workers, passengers, commuters are protected,” Buttigieg told Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts during his hearing before the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

Ten days later, the Department of Homeland Security said Transportation Security Administration workers had been given the authority to enforce President Joe Biden’s transportation mask mandate “at TSA screening checkpoints and throughout the commercial and public transportation system.”

Buttigieg also discussed the President’s Covid-19 relief bill Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” and defended it against criticism that it’s “too big,” telling George Stephanopoulos that the greatest risk is “doing too little.”

Buttigieg also was asked Sunday whether it was a mistake not to include the airline payroll protection extension next month as airlines warn of massive furloughs. He said he’s been speaking with airlines and if that relief is not in the final stimulus bill, it will be looked at outside of the bill.

This story has been updated with background information.

Article Topic Follows: Politics

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