WASHINGTON – The head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, assured that the country’s defense has not weakened despite the fact that he and other military leadership representatives had to self-isolate.
“America is capable and ready, – Milley said. “We are in constant contact with the members of the Committee while we are in quarantine, and the order of subordination remains the same.”
Milley, along with the Committee’s Vice Chairman, General John Hyten, and the commanders of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Space forces earlier this week began self-isolation “as a precautionary measure” after the Deputy commander of the US Coast Guard, Admiral Charles Ray became ill with the coronavirus.
Ray was diagnosed with the coronavirus on Monday, and on Tuesday, the Deputy Commander of the Marine corps, General Gary Thomas, tested positive.
All officers attended a series of meetings at the Pentagon last week, officials said.
According to the Pentagon, it is not yet clear where Ray, who had the first mild symptoms over the weekend, was infected with the coronavirus.
“According to my data, the Agency’s management follows all protocols to protect themselves and their employees,” Lieutenant General Ronald Place, Director of the US Department of defense’s office of health, told reporters on Thursday. “This shows that despite all the recommended methods that we are trying to contain this particular virus, it is not 100 percent effective.”
Milley, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and other senior Pentagon officials have been regularly tested since September 27, when they attended a White House reception for fallen service members’ families.
Both President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were at the event, and they were diagnosed with coronavirus at the end of the week.