Interior Secretary Tests Positive for COVID-19 Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt (Jim Watson/Getty Images)
By Theodore Bunker | Thursday, 17 December 2020 12:14 PM
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has tested positive for the coronavirus, though he is not experiencing any symptoms of the disease at this time, a spokesperson told Politico on Thursday.
“Secretary Bernhardt did test positive for COVID-19 today,” said the spokesperson, Nicholas Goodwin. “He is currently asymptomatic and will continue to work on behalf of the American people while in quarantine.”
Goodwin added that the department has canceled a holiday party that was set to take place indoors with masks encouraged on Thursday, and that Interior is currently cleaning work areas and will identify and trace anyone who has had close contact with Bernhardt.
Bernhardt is the third top-ranking official at the Department of the Interior to test positive for the coronavirus, after U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith and Interior Solicitor Daniel Jorjani. He joins several other Trump administration officials and people close to the president who have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent weeks, including Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
According to The Washington Post, Bernhardt spent the last two days in meetings with various Trump administration officials, and last week he attended a portrait unveiling for former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke with multiple high-ranking congressional Republicans.
The State Department has also canceled its holiday party due to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo being forced to quarantine after coming into contact with someone who has the virus.