CIA Director William Burns tests positive for Covid

WASHINGTON — CIA Director William Burns tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday after taking a routine PCR test, the agency said in a statement.

Burns is experiencing mild symptoms and is fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with two vaccine doses and a booster shot, the agency said.

He will continue his duties from home and plans to return to the office after isolating for five days and testing negative for the disease, it added.

Burns last saw President Joe Biden on Wednesday morning at a socially distanced meeting where he wore an N95 mask, the CIA said, adding that “their interaction is not considered close contact as defined by CDC guidance, and Director Burns is sharing the news of his positive test out of an abundance of transparency.”

Burns tested positive at a critical time as the U.S. aids Ukraine's defense against Russia's military.

Biden, who tested negative Monday following his trip to Europe, got a second booster shot Wednesday. He had interacted with two top White House aides who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month. Press secretary Jen Psaki's diagnosis prevented her from going to Belgium and Poland, and deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who accompanied Biden on his trip, tested positive after she returned.

The BA.2 omicron subvariant of the coronavirus has become the dominant strain causing Covid-19 in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.