After White House, Covid-19 breaches Pentagon

The US commander-in-chief has Covid-19 and the top military brass are isolating as the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on the national security establishment of the most powerful nation in the world.

As Covid-19 breached the walls of the Pentagon, the Defense Department was quick to stress 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, tested positive for the coronavirus last week and was hospitalized for three days, returning to the White House on Monday.

No sooner had Trump returned to work than the Pentagon announced that members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including General Mark Milley, the chairman, were self-quarantining.

They all tested negative for Covid-19 but would isolate after coming into contact during meetings last week with the vice commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Charles Ray, who tested postive for the coronavirus.

The list of those who attended meetings with May read like a Who’s Who of the US military’s top brass.

Besides Milley, they included General John Hyten, the Joint Chiefs vice chairman, Admiral Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, General James McConville, the army chief of staff, and General Charles Brown, the air force chief of staff, a Pentagon official said.

Also attending meetings with May were General Daniel Hokanson, the head 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 said.

“All have been tested with no positive results to report and none are exhibiting any symptoms,” the official said. (AFP)