What media outlets call a “White House outbreak” has now reached to Pentagon, as news of positive COVID-19 case comes from the U.S. military forces.
The outbreak at White House is reportedly growing, with positive cases now not limited to the West Wing, but within the Pentagon as well. Per ABC News, most of the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be subject to home quarantine.
This is done after the vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard turned out to be COVID-19 positive. The news has been reportedly confirmed by a few U.S. defense officials, says CNN.
Pentagon pre-cautionary measure
Reports confirm that “Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, and several members of the Pentagon’s senior leadership” will be taking mandated quarantine protocols after being exposed to Adm. Charles Ray.
The military leaders had reportedly met with Admiral Ray last Friday for a Pentagon meeting.
New: All but one member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is now self-quarantining due to exposure at multiple meetings in recent days, including a meeting in Pentagon’s secure meeting space for classified information known as ‘the tank’, a defense official tells @barbarastarrcnn
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) October 6, 2020
ABC News quotes a statement from a senior Defense official, saying:
“Chairman Milley, Vice Chairman Hyten, Adm. Gilday, Gens. McConville, Brown, Raymond, Hokanson, Nakasone and Thomas were all in meetings with Adm. Ray, as were members of the Joint Staff. All have been tested with no positive results to report and none are exhibiting any symptoms.”
CNN lists down the military leaders, aside from Gen. Milley, who will be working from home or working from an alternate location, and they are:
- Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Gen. James McConville, chief of staff of the Army
- Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard
- Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of US Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency
- Gen. Gary Thomas, assistant commandant of the US Marine Corps
- Chief of staff of the US Air Force, Charles Brown
- Chief of naval operations, Adm. Michael Gilday
- Chief of space operations, Gen. John Raymond
The Pentagon is said to taking additional contract-tracing steps and “taking appropriate precautions to protect the force and the mission,” per Jonathan Hoffman, assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs.
Where did Adm. Ray acquire COVID-19?
Per Politico, Adm. Ray was one of the military leaders who attend the White House event last September 27. This event was set to celebrate Gold Star families.
The event came a day after the White House held the Rose Garden event for Trump’s official Supreme Court nomination, Amy Coney Barret. As reports have already shown, many political figures present during the said event had already tested positive for COVID-19, including POTUS Trump.
The President and the FLOTUS were also present in the Sept.27 event, as seen in the First Lady’s tweet.
Last night we recognized our #GoldStarFamilies with a moving candlelight ceremony to remember those taken from us too soon. Thank you to our #GoldStarFamilies & #GoldStarMothers as we gathered to honor the memory of your loved ones for their sacrifice & bravery. pic.twitter.com/WOhmwTcGAR
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) September 28, 2020
Furthermore, the admiral was tested just this Monday after feeling “mild symptoms” over the weekend, as mentioned in the Coast Guard statement.
Nonetheless, subjecting the country’s military leaders will not undermine its operations, as assured by Hoffman.
“There is no change to the operational readiness or mission capability of the U.S. Armed Forces,” Hoffman assured. “Senior military leaders are able to remain fully mission capable and perform their duties from an alternative work location.”
Featured image courtesy of ABC News/YouTube Screenshot