Apparently core administration secretaries are sort of like ambassadors, now.
Appointing political allies to cushy ambassadorships has long been something of a political joke in the United States, but Mike LaChance observes that the U.S. transportation secretary is apparently also a similarly non-essential worker:
While U.S. ports faced anchor-to-anchor traffic and Congress nearly melted down over the president’s infrastructure bill in recent weeks, the usually omnipresent Transportation secretary was lying low. …
They didn’t previously announce it, but Buttigieg’s office told West Wing Playbook that the secretary has actually been on paid leave since mid-August to spend time with his husband, Chasten, and their two newborn babies.
Another political joke in the U.S, has also been that people who are forced out of their offices always say they wanted to “spend more time with family.” Apparently, folks in the Biden administration are so competent that they can manage to spend all their time with family even while remaining on the (no-show) job.