News is now coming in that senior Pentagon officials, and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are quarantining after possible exposure to the Coronavirus. Earlier today, a Senior Coast Guard official tested positive for COVID-19.
Coast Guard’s Admiral Charles Ray, the vice commandant tested positive for the Coronavirus. He had been in several meetings with top defense officials before that. The Coast Guard released a statement saying, “On Monday, the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Charles Ray, tested positive for COVID-19. He was tested the same day, after feeling mild symptoms over the weekend.” It added, “The Coast Guard is following established policies for COVID, per CDC guidelines, to include quarantine and contact tracing. According to CDC guidelines, any Coast Guard personnel that were in close contact will also quarantine. In accordance with established Coast Guard COVID policies, Admiral Ray will be quarantining from home.”
Multiple high-ranking defense officials have now been tested and their results are awaited. All but one, the Commandant of the Marine Corps who did not attend any meetings with Ray, are self-quarantining, reported CNN. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley has tested negative, but is in home quarantine as a precaution for now. According to various media reports, others forced into quarantine include:
General John Hyten (Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs)
General James McConville (Army Chief of Staff)
General Daniel Hokanson (Chief of National Guard)
General Paul Nakasone (US Cyber Command, Director, NSA)
General Gary Thomas (Assistant Commandant of US Marine Corps), who filled in for his superior
General Charles Brown (Air Force Chief of Staff)
Admiral Michael Gilday (Chief of Naval Operations)
General John Raymond (Chief of Space Operations)
When a nation’s top defense leadership is threatened by a deadly virus, it is a precarious situation, especially if that nation is about to go in for Presidential elections in less than a month.
*Photo courtesy: U.S Army