Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Quarantined After Coast Guard Officer Contracts Coronavirus

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army US Army General Mark Milley (C), meetswith Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the Pentagon on September 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

General Mark Milley, America’s top military officer, and other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have gone into self-quarantine after attending meetings with the Coast Guard’s vice commandant, who has now tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to his service, Coast Guard Admiral Charles Ray was tested “after feeling mild symptoms over the weekend.”

Ray visited the Pentagon last week “for meetings with other senior military leaders,” which included service chiefs, according to Defense Department spokesman Jonathan Hoffman.

“We are aware that Vice Commandant Ray has tested positive for [coronavirus] and that he was at the Pentagon last week for meetings with other senior military leaders,” Hoffman said, adding that “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 continued. “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.”

While it remains unclear how many members of the Joint Chiefs have entered self-quarantine, officials have confirmed that Milley, General Charles Brown, and Admiral Mike Gilday have entered into an isolation process.

“We are conducting additional contact tracing and taking appropriate precautions to protect the force and the mission,” Hoffman stated. “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.”

“The entire Department of Defense wishes Admiral Ray well on his way to a swift recovery,” Hoffman said, concluding the statement.

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