HHS Secretary Alex Azar security agent tests positive for coronavirus: report

Azar is "tested regularly for COVID-19 before attending meetings at the White House," a spokesperson said

A member of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar's security team tested positive for the coronavirus this week, according to a report.

Azar, who has regular contact with President Trump and was with him in North Carolina on Thursday -- for the president's announcement of his health care plan -- was tested following the revelation, Politico reported, citing two sources.

The Health and Human Services Department also took other measures to prevent the virus from spreading, such as deep-cleaning the headquarters, according to Politico.

"Secretary Azar practices social distancing guidelines as recommended by the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and wears a cloth face mask in any setting where social distancing isn’t possible," a spokesperson for Azar, who couldn’t confirm the agent's test results or diagnosis, told he outlet. "Furthermore, he is tested regularly for COVID-19 before attending meetings at the White House and the results of all tests have been negative.”

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar delivers a speech at National Taiwan University College of Public Health in Taipei, Taiwan in August. (Associated Press)

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar delivers a speech at National Taiwan University College of Public Health in Taipei, Taiwan in August. (Associated Press)

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"The health and safety of our agents and the people they protect is of utmost importance," Tesia Williams, a spokeswoman for the department's inspector general, said. The inspector general oversees Azar's security detail. "To that end, our agents follow the recommended guidelines to limit the transmission of the virus."

Politico didn't report whether Azar tested positive or negative.

Azar on Thursday also said politics would not influence how fast a coronavirus vaccine is produced and distributed in reference to Trump’s claims that one could be ready before the November election.

The health secretary said he would be “first in line” to get a vaccine when its available and recommended for him.

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“I will ask my family members to do the same from an FDA, gold standard-authorized or approved vaccine,” he told the “Today” show.

The virus had killed more than 201,000 Americans by early Friday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.