A top Australian government official who met with both Attorney General Bill Barr and President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump at an event in Washington D.C. last week has now tested positive for COVID-19, The Washington Times reported.
Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was in D.C. for an event at the Justice Department announcing a new initiative to combat online child exploitation that will feature joint efforts by private tech companies and the governments of several allied nations, including the U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
At the event, Dutton met and spoke with Attorney General Barr and Ivanka Trump, as well as White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway and a White House policy official.
Days later, however, after returning home to Australia, Dutton woke up on Friday to a sore throat and high temperature, and upon consultation with the nation’s Queensland Health, was tested for the coronavirus and received an unwelcome positive result.
The Times noted that the Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment about Barr’s potential exposure to the virus.
Barr and Ivanka reportedly doing fine
CBS News reported that it remains unclear at this time exactly when or where Dutton contracted the virus himself.
“This morning I woke up with a temperature and sore throat,” Dutton said in a statement on Friday. “It is the policy of Queensland Health that anyone who tests positive is to be admitted into hospital and I have complied with their advice.”
With regard to the potential exposure to the new coronavirus, the White House said in a statement, “The White House is aware that Mr. Dutton tested positive for COVID-19. He was asymptomatic during the interaction.”
“Exposures from the case were assessed and the White House Medical Unit confirmed, in accordance with CDC guidance, that Ivanka is exhibiting no symptoms and does not need to self-quarantine. She worked from home today out of an abundance of caution until guidance was given,” the statement continued.
USA Today reported that Barr stayed home from work on Friday but, according to the Justice Department, the attorney general was “feeling great and not showing any symptoms.” The department added, “The CDC is not recommending he be tested at this point.”
Incidents of potential exposure
This incident was but the latest exposure of individuals in President Trump’s orbit to others who later tested positive for the coronavirus, and comes on the heels of Trump’s meeting at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida with a Brazilian contingent that included an infected aide and the Conservative Political Action Conference in late February at which an infected attendee interacted with several lawmakers who’ve also interacted with the president.
Despite the exposure, the president is healthy. President Trump tested negative for the coronavirus on Friday evening, the White House said Saturday.