Friday, October 30, 2020

Senior Marine tests positive for coronavirus, second high-ranking uniformed official this week

Oct 08. 2020
Gen. Gary Thomas, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps
Gen. Gary Thomas, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps
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WASHINGTON - A senior military official who was quarantining after interaction with another uniformed leader who contracted covid-19 has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Marine Corps said on Wednesday. Gen. Gary Thomas, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, received the positive test a day after he began quarantining, the service said in a statement.

"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. 

Covid-19 is the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

Thomas is the second senior uniformed official whose diagnosis was announced this week, following news that Adm. Charles Ray, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard, tested positive on Monday. Ray and Thomas were among the senior officials who attended a meeting at the Pentagon on Friday. Another was Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper was traveling last week and did not attend the meeting.

Now, those that attended are isolating at home where, officials say, they remain able to work. Officials on Wednesday said the group, which included the top officials from the Army, Air Force and Navy, took a second coronavirus test Wednesday. If they receive three negative results, they are expected to return to their offices as early as next week. 

Jonathan Hoffman, a spokesman for Esper, said in a statement that the Defense Department would follow guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for isolation and contact tracing.

"At this time we have no additional senior leader positive test results to report," he said.

It's not clear whether the outbreak among senior uniformed officials is related to an event the White House held on Sept. 27 for the families of fallen servicemembers, which was attended by President Donald Trump, Milley, Ray and other senior uniformed officials.


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