Deputy prime minister tests positive to COVID-19, isolating in US

By Jackson Graham

December 9, 2021

Nationals leader and deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce
Nationals leader and deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has tested positive to COVID-19 in the US, believing he picked the virus up in the UK while in official business there. 

Joyce, who currently is in Washington DC, said he was experiencing mild symptoms, including tiredness and leg pains, when he decided to get tested. 

“It doesn’t sort of scream at you,” Joyce told Sky News of his symptoms. “I think it’s just starting to be quite frank.” 

No one else in his travelling party has tested positive to COVID-19, Joyce said. 

He said he undertook two COVID tests while in the UK and believed he must have picked it up later in his trip there. 

“You wouldn’t know there was a pandemic on in many areas,” he said. “There’s a heap of areas you could possibly get it.” 

He said he was due to discuss AUKUS, infrastructure and controls on social media giants in meetings scheduled for the next four to five days. 

Instead, he is now in isolation for 10 days and believes the meetings will be cancelled. 

“I was really looking forward to being part of those discussions, but unfortunately that won’t be happening,” he said. 

“Especially if there is anything pertinent to Defence you can’t really do them over Zoom, you have to do them one-on-one.” 

The deputy prime minister quipped that he would be a lot better if not “looking forward” to the 10 days of isolation. 

“If I could just work out which one of these channels has the cricket on it I’m going to be so much better off,” he said. 

“Otherwise I’m going to be watching dopey soaps.”


READ MORE:

Joyce in charge while PM travels to Rome and Glasgow

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