Pompeo holds call with Australian counterpart from quarantine

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on Thursday by phone with his Australian counterpart while under quarantine after exposure to an individual who had tested positive for COVID-19.

Pompeo had no public appointments Wednesday or Thursday but his call with Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne signals that the secretary is working while under quarantine and observation by the State Department’s medical team.

“It was a pleasure speaking today with Australian Foreign Minister [Marice Payne],” the secretary wrote on Twitter. “The U.S.-Australia Alliance is strong and our collective work in the Quad is increasingly critical as we seek to build a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” Pompeo continued, referring to the four-country alliance between the U.S., Australia, India and Japan.

The U.S. and Australia are also partners in the five-eyes intelligence alliance along with Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Payne also posted on Twitter of her conversation with the secretary, but did not remark on Pompeo’s quarantine.

“My friend @SecPompeo has been a vital partner to Australia as we have addressed the challenges across our region. We spoke tonight, reflecting on the values we share, how our Alliance has grown & the critical role it will continue to play in regional security & prosperity,” she wrote.

The State Department said Wednesday that Pompeo would enter quarantine after coming in contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, despite the secretary testing negative for the disease.

Under guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, any individual who is in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 is advised to quarantine for up to 10 days.

The length of time can be shortened to seven days if an individual tests negative on the fifth day of quarantine.

The risk of infection of America’s top diplomat comes as the disease continues to threaten top leaders of the international community.

French President Emmanuel Macron is in quarantine after experiencing symptoms and testing positive for COVID-19, his office said Thursday.

His diagnosis prompted the quarantine of at least four top leaders that the French president had met in recent days, including Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, European Council President Charles Michel and Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Tags Australia Emmanuel Macron Marise Payne Mike Pompeo State Department

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