Surgeon general and his entire family test positive for COVID-19

Surgeon General California
Posted at 12:57 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 14:57:45-05

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and the rest of his immediate family have tested positive for COVID-19, the nation's top doctor shared on Twitter.

He, his wife and his 5-year-old son tested positive, after his 4-year-old daughter tested positive last weekend. They are all vaccinated, with the exception of the 4-year-old, who is too young to be eligible for any vaccine. Murthy said his son has a runny nose and low-grade fever but is otherwise fine. He didn't say whether he's experiencing symptoms.

"Whether you've had COVID or not, whatever your beliefs may be, I wish for you the love of family & friends," Murthy posted. "I know it feels like we're in endless conflict. But we are brothers and sisters first with common hopes and common concerns. May we all find healing in the days ahead."

Vaccines and boosters significantly decrease patients' likelihood of hospitalization or death, and Murthy has consistently encouraged Americans to get their shots. Vaccines and boosters don't always prevent COVID-19 infections, particularly with the highly contagious Omicron variant. But studies in the U.S. and elsewhere have made clear that adding a booster dose strengthens that protection and improves the chances that any infection will be less severe.

Earlier this week, Murthy shared a personal reflection on Twitter about having a young unvaccinated daughter with COVID-19, even though the risk to young, healthy children is incredibly low.

"Staring at my daughter's positive test, I asked myself the same questions many parents have asked: Will my child be ok?" Murthy shared in a Twitter thread on Tuesday. "Could I have done more to protect her? Was this my fault? In these moments, it doesn't matter if you're a doctor or Surgeon General. We are parents first."

Pfizer announced last week that it is postponing its request to the Food and Drug Administration for approval of its vaccine for children younger than 5.