Senior US official tests positive for COVID-19 after Europe trip: media

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(FM) - A senior U.S. State Department official tested positive for COVID-19 after a recent trip to Europe, U.S. media reported on Tuesday.


Citing several U.S. and foreign officials, The Washington Post reported that Peter Berkowitz, the director of policy planning at the State Department, tested positive after his trip to Britain, Hungary and France earlier this month.


One official said that "Berkowitz's mask-wearing and social distancing practices were lax during the trip." But a State Department spokeswoman denied that Berkowitz's mask usage was insufficient and said precautions were taken, according to the report.


The report also said that British officials became more selective on the approval of U.S. delegations' visits after Berkowitz's trip to London. Officials said that Britain had postponed an upcoming trip by Elliott Abrams, the U.S. special envoy for Iran and Venezuela.


Months into the pandemic, the United States has recorded more than 8.77 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 226,600 deaths as of Tuesday, according to the real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

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