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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.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
27 mins ago - Sports

European soccer is at war

Liverpool celebrating its 2019 Champions League victory. Photo: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
56 mins ago - Economy & Business

2021's expected earnings blowout begins

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.