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US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross hospitalized

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross testifies on the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC , March 5, 2020.

SAUL LOEB | AFP | Getty Images

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has been hospitalized for health reasons unrelated to the coronavirus, according to a Commerce Department spokesperson.

“Secretary Ross has been admitted to the hospital with minor issues unrelated to the coronavirus. He is fine and we expect his release soon,” according to a statement obtained by NBC News.

Ross started working remotely as the coronavirus began to spread in the United States. The former banker and private equity investor was working from his home in Florida at the end of March.

The White House did not immediately respond to an after-hours request for comment.

The 82-year-old is the oldest member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet. Health officials have warned that the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus, which has infected more than 3.7 million people in the United States – the worst-affected country in the world.

Ross is one of the main business voices in the Trump administration. His job is to make sure American entrepreneurs and businesses have the tools they need to create jobs and business opportunities.

During his 55-year financial career, he has helped restructure more than $ 400 billion in assets across a wide range of businesses related to aviation, clothing, banking, real estate , catering, shipyards, steel, textiles and trucking.

– CNBC’s Lauren Hirsch and Elisabeth Butler Cordova contributed to this report.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Ross has helped restructure over $ 400 billion in assets during his financial career. An earlier version of this story twisted the figure.

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