Trump official tests positive for COVID-19 after travel to Europe

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A senior Trump administration official tested positive for the coronavirus after a trip to Europe, raising concerns about the transmission of the virus among government personnel.Peter Berkowitz, director of policy planning at the State Department, met with officials at 10 Downing Street and the Foreign Office in London. He also had meetings in Paris and Budapest, with Hungarian Secretary of State Peter Sztaray and Deputy Secretary of State Ferenc Dancs, earlier this month.

The diagnosis was first reported by The Washington Post, and an official told the newspaper Berkowitz was inconsistent in adhering to mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines.

The State Department denied that Berkowitz was lax in following health guidelines.

“During all of Director Berkowitz’s overseas engagements, he always followed the mask-wearing protocol demonstrated by his host government counterparts. As Secretary Pompeo has said, we take the threat posed by COVID-19 very seriously and take all necessary precautions to protect every member of our team as we carry out our diplomatic engagement in these unprecedented times, ”he said. a State Department spokesperson told The Hill.

“We are closely monitoring the daily developments of COVID-19 and continue to apply the best science and current public health recommendations to support the entire team as we continue to deliver results on behalf of the American people.

Administration officials are said to be in contact with government staff in the three countries Berkowitz visited, and an official told the Post that no travel-related cases have been reported in Hungary.

The news of the diagnosis comes as the United States and Europe grapple with further increases in cases and hospitalizations from the coronavirus. Among the most high-profile outbreaks was last week’s announcement that several of Vice President Pence’s staff had tested positive for the coronavirus, while Europe has reported more than 1.3 million new cases la last week.



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