Fed Chair Jerome Powell Tests Positive For COVID-19, Working From Home

BY Benzinga | ECONOMIC | 05/17/24 01:55 PM EDT

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has tested positive for COVID-19 and is working from home.

What Happened: Powell, 71, tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday and is experiencing symptoms, a Fed spokesperson said in an emailed statement, according to Reuters. He is adhering to the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is working from home, away from others.

The announcement comes after Powell’s recent trip to Europe, where he appeared at an event in Amsterdam with Dutch central bank president Klaas Knot.

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Despite Powell’s COVID-19 diagnosis, there was minimal impact on financial markets. The Fed’s next scheduled policy meeting is not until June 11-12.

Powell, who was scheduled to give commencement remarks at Georgetown Law School in person on Sunday, will now deliver them via a prerecorded video, according to Reuters.

Why It Matters: The news of Powell’s infection comes at a time when the U.S. is grappling with the emergence of new COVID-19 variants. The FLiRT variants, including KP.2, have become the dominant strains in the country, posing a potential risk for a summer wave of infections, CNN reports. It is unclear which variant Powell has contracted.

Powell’s diagnosis also follows his recent statements on U.S. monetary policy. During a discussion with Knot in Amsterdam, Powell reaffirmed his position that the U.S. monetary policy is likely to maintain its current rate for a more extended period than previously anticipated, aiming to further reduce inflation towards the Fed's 2% target.

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This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Image generated using artificial intelligence via Midjourney.

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