U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy announced Friday that he and the rest of his immediate family have tested positive for COVID-19.
In a tweet shared Friday, the nation’s top doctor said he, his wife and his 5-year-old son all tested positive for the virus. His 4-year-old daughter, who first tested positive for the virus last weekend, is doing “ok” — saying she’s still congested and is hoarse from coughing.
Murthy says he and his wife Alice have mild symptoms, experiencing muscle aches, chills, and sore throat. His son has a runny nose and low-grade fever, but says is otherwise fine.
“Whether you’ve had COVID or not, whatever your beliefs may be, I wish for you the love of family & friends,” Murthy said in his tweet. “I know it feels like we’re in endless conflict. But we are brothers and sisters first with common hopes and common concerns. May we all find healing in the days ahead.”
When you’ve been as safe as you can, getting COVID-19 can be frustrating and disappointing. I’ve felt that. It can also be a source of shame. Many people assume you must have been careless to get sick. Our safety measures reduce risk but they can’t eliminate risk. Nothing can.
— Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) February 18, 2022
“So if you’ve done everything you can and gotten COVID-19 anyway, don’t beat yourself up. A lot of us are doing the best we can. And let’s not assume those who get sick are careless. We don’t know people’s circumstances. They may not be able to protect themselves the way we can,” he added.
Additionally, Murthy stressed the importance of being vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, emphasizing the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Vaccines are very effective at saving our lives and keeping us out of the hospital. As parents, I can’t tell you how reassuring it is to know we’ll be able to care for our kids even if we get infected,” he said.
Earlier this week, Murthy spoke with All Things Considered about vaccines, parenting during the pandemic and his daughter’s COVID diagnosis.
“I’ve been certainly thinking about COVID and talking to people about COVID for the better part of two years, even before I was surgeon general. But when it hits home, it always feels a bit different,” Murthy said.
“I just had this sinking feeling, thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s four years old, she’s not vaccinated because there is no vaccine available for her age group.’ And as a parent, my questions were: Is she going to be OK? Could I have done something else to have prevented her from getting sick?” he added.
This week, expert advisers with The Food and Drug Administration said Pfizer postponed its request to meet with the agency for approval of its vaccine for young children.
According to the agency, new data recently emerged about its emergency use authorization request for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children 6 months through 4 years of age.