“We can confirm that on November 25, Acting Deputy Administrator John Barsa tested positive for COVID-19 after receiving a rapid diagnostic test,” acting USAID spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala said in a statement to CNN on Wednesday.
“The Acting Deputy Administrator has been isolating since he began exhibiting symptoms late Monday, November 23, and will continue to until a retest is conclusive.”
Barsa, a Trump political appointee, has been regularly going to the office and holding meetings, including with officials from the White House, without a mask, a source familiar with the situation told CNN.
The source also said the Biden transition team has been informed about Barsa’s diagnosis, and that Barsa had not met with them.
Jhunjhunwala said that “since the beginning of the pandemic, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has prioritized the health and safety of our employees, and taken seriously the guidelines for safety protocols and physical distancing issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
This story is breaking and will be updated.