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Secretary of State Pompeo quarantines after virus exposure

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits the White House with family members, Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON – The State Department said Wednesday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had come into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 and was quarantining.

The department said Pompeo had tested negative for the virus but was being monitored by medical professionals. It said it would not identify the infected person with whom Pompeo came into contact for privacy reasons.

The announcement comes as Pompeo and the department have been criticized for hosting holiday parties amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Secretary Pompeo has been identified as having come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID," the department said. "The Secretary has been tested and is negative. In accordance with CDC guidelines, he will be in quarantine. He is being closely monitored by the Department’s medical team.”

Pompeo had been expected to attend President Donald Trump's Cabinet meeting later Wednesday although the appointment was not listed on his public schedule. He had also tentatively planned to meet with President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to succeed him, Antony Blinken, on Thursday. The status of that meeting was not immediately clear.