CIA Director William Burns tests positive for Covid after meeting with Biden, but is not considered a close contact

CIA Director Bill Burns testifies next to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines during a House (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing on diversity in the intelligence community, on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 27, 2021.
Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

WASHINGTON – CIA Director William Burns tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, the intelligence agency said.

Burns, who is fully vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19, last met with President Joe Biden on Wednesday morning during a “socially distanced meeting and was wearing an N-95 mask.”

“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,” the intelligence agency wrote in a statement.

Burns will continue to perform his duties as CIA director but will work from home. He will return to the office following a negative test and after isolating for five days. The agency said that Burns has experienced mild symptoms.

Burns’ positive test follows two other virus cases within Biden’s orbit.

On Sunday, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said she tested positive for Covid-19. Her positive test result came several days after White House press secretary Jen Psaki tested positive for the virus, which prevented her from traveling with Biden to Belgium and Poland.

Psaki said at the time that Biden was not considered a close contact following two socially distanced meetings.

Earlier this month, second gentleman Doug Emhoff tested positive for Covid-19. Following the positive test result, the White House said that Vice President Kamala Harris would skip a scheduled event “out of an abundance of caution.”

Biden, 79, received his fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday.

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