A senior Australian politician tested positive for the new coronavirus and was quarantined in hospital on Friday, days after returning from Washington where he met Ivanka Trump and US Attorney General William Barr.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was in the United States last week for a meeting with members of the FiveEyes intelligence alliance — Australia, the United States, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand — that included Barr.
He also met with US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka on March 6, according to a photo posted by the Australian embassy in Washington, which shows the pair standing close together.
It is not yet known when Dutton contracted the virus.
“This morning I woke up with a temperature and sore throat,” said Dutton, an influential member of the government and a key architect of Australia’s controversial immigration laws.
“It is the policy of Queensland Health that anyone who tests positive is to be admitted into hospital and I have complied with their advice.”
Dutton said he feels “fine” but his diagnosis will raise concerns about whether other members of the cabinet and Prime Minister Scott Morrison may have been infected.
Australia has seen around 184 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and three fatalities.