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After White House, Covid-19 breaches Pentagon

After White House, Covid-19 breaches Pentagon

WASHINGTON: The US commander-in-chief has Covid-19 and the highest navy brass are isolating because the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on the nationwide safety institution of probably the most highly effective nation on the earth.
As Covid-19 breached the partitions of the Pentagon, the Defense Department was fast to emphasize on Tuesday that there had been “no change to the operational readiness or mission capability of the US Armed Forces.”
President Donald Trump, custodian of the nuclear codes, examined optimistic for the coronavirus final week and was hospitalized for 3 days, returning to the White House on Monday.
No sooner had Trump returned to work than the Pentagon introduced that members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, together with General Mark Milley, the chairman, have been self-quarantining.
They all examined unfavorable for Covid-19 however would isolate after coming into contact throughout conferences final week with the vice commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Charles Ray, who examined postive for the coronavirus.
The checklist of those that attended conferences with May learn like a Who’s Who of the US navy’s high brass.
Besides Milley, they included General John Hyten, the Joint Chiefs vice chairman, Admiral Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, General James McConville, the military chief of employees, and General Charles Brown, the air pressure chief of employees, a Pentagon official mentioned.
Also attending conferences with May have been General Daniel Hokanson, the top of the National Guard, General John Raymond, chief of the Space Force, and General Paul Nakasone, the director of the National Security Agency and head of US Cyber Command, the official mentioned.
“All have been tested with no positive results to report and none are exhibiting any symptoms,” the official mentioned.
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman mentioned those that had come into contact with May would self-quarantine “out of an abundance of caution.”
“We are conducting further contact tracing and taking applicable precautions to guard the pressure and the mission,” Hoffman mentioned. “Senior military leaders are able to remain fully mission capable and perform their duties from an alternative work location.”
The Coast Guard mentioned Ray had examined optimistic on Monday after experiencing delicate signs and was quarantining at dwelling.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper was on a international journey final week and was not among the many Pentagon officers who’re going into isolation.
Esper took half in a convention on the way forward for the US Navy on Tuesday however didn’t make any feedback in regards to the quarantine scenario on the Pentagon.
Senior officers mentioned the US menace degree had not been heightened final week following the announcement that the president had Covid-19 and no new threats had been detected.
But former US officers mentioned the administration wanted to stay cautious.
“We have to look at whether or not any of our global adversaries want to take advantage of the distraction taking place right now,” John Brennan, who served as CIA director beneath president Barack Obama, mentioned on NPR radio.
“A country like China might try to do something in Hong Kong now, or in the South China Sea, while Trump is focused on his health,” Brennan mentioned.
“(Or Russia) might decide to do something in Belarus or in another country, taking advantage of what they see as a possible opportunity,” he mentioned.
Stephen Hadley, who served as nationwide safety advisor to former president George W. Bush, additionally warned that “adversaries may think that America may be distracted, so that they can get away with something.”
Representative Adam Smith, chairman of the Democratic-majority House Armed Services Committee, lashed out at Trump’s dealing with of the coronavirus disaster and mentioned it had endangered nationwide safety.
“While our military can still operate while leadership is quarantined, the national security implications of the president’s recklessness cannot be overstated,” Smith mentioned in an announcement. “Our adversaries are at all times on the lookout for any weak point to take advantage of.
“President Trump’s pathetic makes an attempt to exude power aren’t fooling anybody — Americans know he’s weak and so do those that want us hurt,” Smith mentioned.
“Instead of main, President Trump continues to willfully jeopardize the protection and safety of the American folks and our navy equipment.”

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