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An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

  • "The acting Deputy Administrator has been isolating since he began exhibiting symptoms late Monday, November 23, and will continue to until a retest is conclusive," spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala said in a statement issued after being contacted by Axios.

Details: Barsa was planning to travel to Honduras this weekend after the country was ravaged by recent hurricanes. Administration officials say they expect that trip is now off.

  • Barsa's positive test results comes shortly after Donald Trump Jr. and senior White House aide Andrew Giuliani, among several others close to the president, also contracted the virus.

The backdrop: Barsa has come under fire in recent weeks after Axios obtained leaked audio with him making remarks some employees took as threatening about their future work prospects.

USAID is an independent government agency that works closely with the State Department. It is tasked with leading the government's international development and disaster assistance efforts.

This story has been updated with quotes from the USAID spokesperson, background about the agency and a restatement of Barsa's comments to his employees.

Go deeper

Biden appoints swath of acting agency leaders

Joe Biden in the White House on Jan. 20. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday appointed acting leaders to federal agencies to temporarily hold the posts until the Senate can confirm his nominees.

Why it matters: The impeachment trial for former President Trump will prevent the chamber from confirming Biden's nominees and may inhibit his efforts to heal the country and its economy.

The podcast business is booming, but few are making money

Data: PwC Global Entertainment & Media Outlook; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Nearly every major media and entertainment company is pouring lots of cash into launching new podcasts. But many of them aren't making big money — at least not yet.

Why it matters: As is the case with most new technologies, when it comes to podcasts, consumer adoption has outpaced monetization.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
19 mins ago - Energy & Environment
Column / Harder Line

Biden ushers in historical turn on clean energy and climate change

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Like the curve of Earth we can’t see from the ground, we’re on a curve in history that we won’t fully recognize until decades in the future.

Driving the news: The inauguration of President Biden completes an economic and political consensus that climate change is an urgent threat the world should aggressively address. Whether this consensus produces action remains deeply uncertain.