Australian Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce tests positive for Covid in Washington DC

Author
Newstalk ZB, AP,
Publish Date
Thu, 9 Dec 2021, 5:35PM
Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. (Photo /Getty Images)
Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. (Photo /Getty Images)

Australian Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce tests positive for Covid in Washington DC

Author
Newstalk ZB, AP,
Publish Date
Thu, 9 Dec 2021, 5:35PM

Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said today he'd tested positive for Covid-19 while travelling in Washington DC.

Joyce, who is fully vaccinated, said in a Facebook post that he'd been experiencing mild symptoms and decided to get tested. He said he would remain in isolation while seeking further advice.

He said the remaining members of his travelling delegation had tested negative.

It wasn't immediately clear what variant of the virus Joyce had contracted. Before arriving in the US, he'd travelled to London and met with top officials there as part of a 10-day trip to discuss his government's plans for regulating social media.

Joyce told ABC Radio New England he was "very frustrated I'm going to be locked up in a room by myself for 10 days, but that's part of the process".

He joked that being alone in the room worried him more than his infection.

He told the radio station that part of his job involved travelling and meeting with counterparts.

"I really wanted to follow up on some of this online stuff, try to get better online protection laws and see where the United States are," he said. "But that's the way the cookie crumbles."

Australia has been a prominent voice in calling for international regulation of the internet.

It passed laws this year that oblige Google and Facebook to pay for journalism. Australia also defied the tech companies by creating a law that could imprison social media executives if their platforms stream violent images.

Australia has also announced plans to crack down on online advertisers targeting children by making social media platforms seek parental consent for users younger than 16 years old or face hefty fines.

- AP