No Change to Pentagon Alert Levels After Trump Tests Positive for COVID-19

No Change to Pentagon Alert Levels After Trump Tests Positive for COVID-19
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, right, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley, meet with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the Pentagon in Washington on September 22, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber
10/2/2020
Updated:
10/2/2020

The Department of Defense alert levels didn’t change after President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19, a Pentagon spokesman said Friday.

“There’s been no change to DoD alert levels. The U.S. military stands ready to defend our country and interests. 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,” said Jonathan Hoffman, assistant to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

A slew of social media users, including an NBC reporter, suggested that E-6B aircraft were placed on alert because of Trump’s diagnosis.

“With regard to reports about E-6B aircraft on alert status, U.S. STRATCOM has confirmed these E-6B aircraft were part of pre-planned missions. Any timing to the president’s announcement was purely coincidental,” Hoffman said.

Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley met with Trump on Sept. 27, when the president held an event with relatives of military members who lost their lives in service.

Esper tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday and Wednesday, and was being tested again on Friday. He is currently overseas and will not be returning early, according to the Pentagon.

Milley tested negative on Friday.

Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, White House aide Hope Hicks, Republican National Chair Ronna McDaniel, and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) tested positive this week.

Numerous others who came into contact with the president, including Vice President Mike Pence, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, tested negative on Friday.

The White House in Washington is seen on Oct. 2, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
The White House in Washington is seen on Oct. 2, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows walks into the West Wing after speaking to the media about President Donald Trump, at the White House in Washington on Oct. 2, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows walks into the West Wing after speaking to the media about President Donald Trump, at the White House in Washington on Oct. 2, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Hoffman said Esper is confident the Trumps “will continue to receive the best medical care in the world.”

The Trumps are isolating themselves at the White House, per quarantine protocol. They’re showing mild symptoms, according to chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, aches, and loss of taste or smell. COVID-19 is a disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Former White House physician Ronny Jackson said the president could return to a normal schedule following two negative tests, likely within 10 days. White House pandemic adviser Scott Atlas said there’s “zero reason to panic” over the president’s diagnosis and expects the Trumps to make a “complete, full, and rapid recovery.”

Most COVID-19 patients recover. The disease primarily affects the elderly and those with underlying health conditions such as kidney disease and hypertension. It kills a small percentage of infected.

Sean Conley, the president’s current doctor, said in a memorandum that both the president and first lady were doing well on Thursday evening.

Conley said he and the White House medical team would “maintain a vigilant watch,” adding, “Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering.”

Trump was “in good spirits” on Friday morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.

“The President was in good spirits. The first thing he asked me is how’s the hearings going?” Graham said, referring to the effort to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, who tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday.

Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news. Contact Zachary at [email protected]
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