WASHINGTON – The head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milli, has assured that the country’s defenses have not weakened despite the fact that he and other members of the military leadership had to isolate themselves.
Millie tweeted that the quarantine “does not affect” the Pentagon’s ability to defend the country or its allies.
“America is capable and ready,” Milli said. “We are in constant contact with the committee members while we are in quarantine, and the chain of command remains the same.”
Millie, as well as vice chairman of the committee, General John Hayten, and commanders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Space Forces, began self-isolation earlier this week “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 Marine Corps Deputy Commander General Gary Thomas tested positive on Tuesday.
All officers took part in a series of meetings at the Pentagon last week, officials said.
According to the Pentagon, it is not yet clear where Ray contracted the coronavirus, who first developed mild symptoms over the weekend.
“From what I know, the agency’s leadership is following all the protocols to keep themselves and their employees safe,” Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the US Department of Defense’s Health Administration, told reporters Thursday. “This shows that despite all the recommended methods we are trying to contain this particular virus, it is not 100 percent effective.”
Millie, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and other senior Pentagon officials have been regularly tested since September 27, when they attended a White House reception for the families of the dead soldiers.
Both President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were at the event and were diagnosed with the coronavirus at the end of the week.