Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is quarantined after contact with Covid

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looks on during a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at Chigi Palace on September 30, 2020 in Rome.

Francesco Fotia | Corbis News | Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will quarantine himself after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus, the State Department said on Wednesday.

A department spokesman failed to identify when, where, or with whom Pompeo was exposed to Covid, but added in a statement that the cabinet secretary had tested negative for the virus.

According to the Washington Post, Pompeo had canceled a lecture appearance scheduled for Tuesday at an indoor Christmas party at the State Department.

This party, which reportedly had more than 900 invitations sent out, has been criticized by health experts and Democratic lawmakers who accused Pompeo and his wife Susan Pompeo of organizing a potential superspreader event in the middle of a pandemic.

About 70 people signed up for the party and even fewer showed up, the Post reported Tuesday.

The State Department didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s inquiry about whether Pompeo’s exposure to a Covid-positive person was related to the scrapped appearance at the Christmas party.

“It has been found that Secretary Pompeo has come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID. We cannot identify this person for privacy reasons,” the spokesman said in a statement.

“The secretary has been tested and is negative. According to CDC guidelines, he is being quarantined. He is being closely monitored by the department’s medical team.”

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Pompeo would also skip a cabinet meeting with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, which is slated to begin at 11:30 a.m.

The White House declined to comment on whether Pompeo would in any way attend the cabinet meeting.

NBC News reported that Pompeo had no public appointments on Wednesday on its schedule, which was released the night before.

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