Attorney General Merrick Garland tests positive for Covid

US Attorney General Merrick Garland announces enforcement actions against Russia, during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, US, April 6, 2022.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

Attorney General Merrick Garland tested positive for Covid on Wednesday, just hours after speaking in person at a press conference alongside FBI Director Christopher Wray and other top Biden administration officials.

Garland, who is not symptomatic, asked to be tested for the virus after learning he may have been exposed, the Department of Justice said in a statement. He is fully vaccinated and boosted against Covid, and will work from home while isolating for five days, the Justice Department said.

The attorney general is not considered to be a close contact of President Joe Biden, a DOJ official told CNBC. Their previous meeting was a week earlier at an outdoor signing ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, the official said.

Garland over the weekend had reportedly gone to a white-tie dinner attended by hundreds of politicians and journalists, a growing number of whom have since tested positive for Covid.

Another attendee, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, received a positive test result earlier Wednesday.

Reps. Joaquin Castro of Texas and Adam Schiff of California, who were also at the dinner, tweeted out their own positive Covid test results on Tuesday.

USDeputy US Attorney General Lisa Monaco speaks during a press conference at the US Justice Department on April 06, 2022 in Washington, DC. US

Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images

The Gridiron Club and Foundation dinner Saturday night hosted more than 600 political elites and media figures who flocked to the four-star Renaissance Hotel in downtown DC

The traditional event features high-profile figures – including US presidents – cracking political jokes, usually aimed at other lawmakers and the press.

An annual event which has been held in various forms for more than a century, the Gridiron dinner Saturday night was the first one to be held since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

– CNBC’s Amanda Macias contributed to this report.

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