Secretary of the Navy Announces He Has COVID-19

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Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro
Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro observes a Peltor headset and hi-cut helmet systems demonstration at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Jan. 28, 2022. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan Ramsammy)

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, the civilian head of both the Navy and Marine Corps, announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning.

Del Toro's statement, issued late Monday afternoon, suggested that he is feeling some symptoms though he noted that he is "grateful to be fully vaccinated and to have received the booster shot in October as I know my symptoms could be far worse."

"I am following my physician's instructions and will quarantine for the next five days at a minimum in accordance with CDC guidelines," Del Toro wrote.

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The secretary, 61, said he had been on official travel last week, but he tested negative a week before his trip and immediately after.

He added that he plans to continue working virtually during his quarantine.

"During this time, I will attend key meetings and discussions virtually and when necessary, the Honorable Meredith Berger, performing the duties of Under Secretary of the Navy, will represent me during my physical absence," Del Toro said.

The secretary is the latest in a string of military leaders to test positive for COVID-19.

Last week, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command, Gen. Richard Clarke, announced that he had tested positive. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger, as well as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, announced positive COVID-19 test results and quarantines earlier in the month. Early in December, the top general in charge of the National Guard, Gen. Dan Hokanson, also tested positive for the virus.

"We must continue to vaccinate our naval forces and look out for our physical health as we finish the fight against COVID," Del Toro said in his statement.

-- Konstantin Toropin can be reached at konstantin.toropin@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @ktoropin.

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