Anthony Fauci, who headed America’s response to the COVID-19 breakout, has tested positive for the disease. The 81-year-old is experiencing “mild symptoms”, according to a statement released by the United States National Institutes of Health.

The statement clarified that Fauci had received the initial two COVID-19 vaccine doses and has also been administered with two booster shots. This is the first time he has tested positive for coronavirus.

Also Read: COVID-19 ‘pandemic phase’ over for the US: Dr Anthony Fauci

Fauci has not recently been in close contact with President Joe Biden or other senior government officials. He tested positive on a rapid antigen test.

He is following public health guidelines and his doctor’s advice and will return to work at the NIH when he tests negative, according to reports from Associated Press citing the statement.

Fauci is Biden’s chief medical adviser and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He was a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force under former United States President Donald Trump. He is also commonly known as the top virologist in the country.

Earlier this week, United States Health Secretary Xavier Becerra tested positive for the virus. It was the second time Becerra had come down with symptoms and tested positive.  

Fauci had recently made public appearances. He addressed the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, which is scheduled to conduct a public meeting in Washington later this week. He was also expected to give a testimony to the Senate health committee on the state of the pandemic. Fauci is now likely to miss the testimony.

Also Read: Senator Rand Paul vows to remove ‘petty tyrant’ Anothony Fauci from NIAID

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report that more than half of all Americans must have been infected by COVID-19 till now. The estimated tally included both reported and unreported cases.

United States Vice President Kamala Harris also contracted the virus last month.