Marine Corps assistant commandant tests positive for COVID-19
Gen. Gary L. Thomas, the assistant commandant of the US Marine Corps, has tested positive for Covid-19, the Marine Corps said in a statement Wednesday.
As CNN previously reported, Thomas had been in self-quarantine since Tuesday, after being notified he had been in close contact with a person who later tested positive for the virus.
“In accordance with established Marine Corps COVID policies, General Thomas will continue to quarantine at home. He is experiencing mild symptoms, but otherwise is feeling well,” the statement said. “Since April, the Marine Corps has been following CDC and DoD guidelines for temperature testing, social distancing to the greatest extent possible, and the wearing of masks when social distancing is not possible. The Marine Corps remains operationally ready to answer the Nation’s call.”
The top US general, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, and several members of the Pentagon’s senior leadership, including Thomas, have been quarantining after a top Coast Guard official tested positive for coronavirus.
As President Donald Trump‘s top military adviser, Milley maintains a full classified communications suite in his house. The Chief of Staff of the US Air Force Charles Brown, the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday and the Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond are also working from home, according to several officials.
As of Wednesday evening, no one in that group had tested positive aside from Thomas.
“We are aware of General Thomas’ positive test for COVID-19. At this time we have no additional senior leader positive test results to report,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement Wednesday.
But the general’s positive test adds to concerns about a potential coronavirus outbreak at the Pentagon, one of the world’s largest office buildings, where such an event could pose a health threat to the thousands of people employed there as well as a threat to the country’s national security.
Already, experts have said that Trump’s bout with the virus could pose a national security threat. The President, who left Walter Reed medical center on Monday after receiving treatment for the virus, is among more than a dozen Republicans close to his administration or his reelection campaign who have tested positive in recent days.
The list of those in Trump’s close circle who have tested positive includes his senior adviser, press secretary, campaign manager, former counselor, personal assistant, four press aides, three Republican senators, first lady Melania Trump and, over the weekend, a member of the military who directly serves the President.
Hoffman said the Pentagon will continue to following guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for self-quarantining and contact tracing.
Additional military officials who were also working from alternate locations or from home include:
Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. James McConville, chief of staff of the Army; Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard; Gen. Paul Nakasone, US Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency.
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