Pentagon Chiefs Going Into Isolation After Official Tests Positive for COVID-19

October 6, 2020 Updated: October 6, 2020

America’s top military official and other members of the Department of Defense’s Joint Chiefs of Staff are isolating after a military official tested positive for COVID-19.

Admiral Charles Ray, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard, tested positive on Monday after feeling mild symptoms over the weekend, the Coast Guard said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ray is quarantining from home, in accordance to the Coast Guard’s COVID-19 policies.

Jonathan Hoffman, assistant to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, said the Pentagon was aware of Ray’s positive test “and that he was at the Pentagon last week for meetings with other senior military leaders.

“Some meeting attendees included other Service Chiefs. We are conducting additional contact tracing and taking appropriate precautions to protect the force and the mission,” Hoffman said in a statement obtained by The Epoch Times. “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.”

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General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at Pershing Park in Washington on Nov. 9, 2017. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Gen. Mark Milley, 62, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other chiefs tested negative for COVID-19 but are still isolating as a precaution, two U.S. officials told the Associated Press.

A Pentagon spokesman, reached by The Epoch Times, said, “I’m not sure if that’s the terminology we’re using.”

He then directed questions to the duty officer, who declined to directly answer whether Milley and the others had tested negative.

Hoffman said there’s 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,” he said.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff consist of the chairman, the vice chairman, the chief of staff of the Army, the chief of Naval Operations, the chief of staff of the Air Force, the commandant of the Marine Corps and the chief of the National Guard Bureau.

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