The Pentagon is “conducting additional contact tracing and taking appropriate precautions to protect the force and the mission,” after vice commandant of the US Coast Guard, Adm. Charles Ray, examined optimistic on Monday, in accordance to Jonathan Hoffman, assistant to the secretary of protection for public affairs.

Despite efforts by the Pentagon to stress that navy leaders can keep on enterprise as traditional from quarantine, the prospect of the virus spreading amongst senior officers who work in one of many world’s largest workplace buildings will probably elevate main nationwide safety questions, notably because it follows a significant outbreak within the White House that hospitalized President Donald Trump and after three Republican senators examined optimistic in latest days.

“We are aware that Vice Commandant Ray has tested positive for COVID-19 and that he was at the Pentagon last week for meetings with other senior military leaders. Some meeting attendees included other Service Chiefs,” Hoffman stated in an announcement Tuesday.

“Out of an abundance of caution, all potential close contacts from these meetings are self-quarantining and have been tested this morning. No Pentagon contacts have exhibited symptoms and we have no additional positive tests to report at this time,” he added.

The Coast Guard can be taking precautions after Ray examined optimistic, “following established policies for COVID, per CDC guidelines, to include quarantine and contact tracing,” the service introduced Tuesday.

“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,” the assertion stated.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper isn’t quarantining after getting back from an abroad journey on Sunday. He participated in an occasion together with his Bulgarian counterpart on Tuesday.

Close contact with senior Pentagon leaders

Ray was on the White House on September 27 for the Gold Star Mothers Event, the Coast Guard confirmed to CNN. Milley additionally attended .

Additionally, Ray was on the Pentagon on Friday and just lately attended a number of conferences in safe areas with different members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who’re the navy’s most senior generals.

Multiple protection officers inform CNN that senior Pentagon leadership who had been in proximity to Ray have been examined and are awaiting outcomes.

The self-quarantining by senior leadership goes past the Joints Chiefs workers due to exposure at a number of conferences in latest days, together with a gathering within the Pentagon’s safe assembly house for labeled data often known as “the tank,” a protection official stated.

All however one member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is now self-quarantining. The commandant of the Marine Corps was not within the conferences with Ray; his deputy was in attendance.

As a precaution, Milley is working from house, a protection official says. Milley has up to now examined detrimental. As Trump’s prime navy adviser, he maintains a full labeled communications suite in his home, the official stated.

The chief of workers of the US Air Force, Charles Brown, the chief of naval operations, Adm. Michael Gilday, and the chief of house operations, Gen. John Raymond, are also all working from house, in accordance to a number of officers.

Additional officers working from alternate places or from house embody:

  • Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff;
  • Gen. James McConville, chief of workers 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,

White House outbreak

The information comes after Trump staged a reckless departure from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday, telling his followers that the virus that dangerously disadvantaged him of oxygen and hospitalized him for 72 hours was nothing to concern earlier than posing for a mask-less photo-op on the White House balcony.

At least 11 of the President’s aides or allies have both contracted the virus or — within the case of his daughter Ivanka — are working from house. Entire suites of places of work sit vacant as Trump’s aides work to isolate him within the residence and out of the West Wing.

In the White House residence, the place he was talking and not using a masks, an already slimmed-down workers has been decreased even additional after the President and first woman each got here down with coronavirus. At least one staffer — who’s navy personnel straight assigned to help the President within the Oval Office and residence — examined optimistic over the weekend, in accordance to an individual accustomed to the matter.

Esper and Milley appear to adopt different strategies to deal with Trump as election approaches

Military leaders have been among the many first group of officers to difficulty an announcement following Trump’s optimistic analysis final week, making it clear within the hours that adopted there was no indication of a direct risk to the US homeland from a international adversary.

In an announcement issued Friday morning, the Pentagon sought to alleviate fears that Trump’s optimistic Covid-19 analysis offered a probably imminent risk to nationwide safety, emphasizing that the event didn’t warrant a change in protection alert ranges or navy posture.

“There’s no change to the readiness or capability of our armed forces. Our national command and control structure is in no way affected by this announcement,” stated Hoffman on the time.

“The US military stands ready to defend our country and interests,” he added.

Hoffman reiterated that time once more Tuesday, saying that “there is no change to the operational readiness or mission capability of the U.S. Armed Forces.”

“Senior military leaders are able to remain fully mission capable and perform their duties from an alternative work location. DoD has been following CDC guidelines since April with respect to temperature testing, social distancing, and the wearing of masks to the greatest extent when social distancing is not possible and will continue to do so,” he stated.

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