General Tests Positive After Pentagon Meeting

Marine deputy commandant was at Joint Chiefs meeting with infected Coast Guard leader
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 8, 2020 4:17 AM CDT
Marine General Has COVID After Pentagon Meeting
This image provided by the US Marine Corps shows Gen. Gary L. Thomas.   (Lance Cpl. Paul A. Ochoa/Marine Corps via AP)

The assistant commandant of the Marine Corps has tested positive for the coronavirus, days after he and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were in a Pentagon meeting with a Coast Guard leader who was infected with the virus. The Marine Corps said Wednesday that Gen. Gary L. Thomas tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the latest to be infected by a virus that has afflicted President Trump and an array of top staff at the White House. Thomas attended a meeting of the Joint Chiefs on Friday, and officials say none of the other top military leaders in the meeting—including Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—have tested positive so far.

Still, Thomas' positive test raises worrying questions about the health of the others at the meeting, including the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and National Guard, the AP reports. Pentagon officials have been quick to stress that military preparedness has not been affected and that the nation's armed services stand ready to defend the country. Thomas and the others have been in self-quarantine since Tuesday when they found out that Adm. Charles W. Ray, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard who was at the Friday meeting, had tested positive. Ray attended the Joint Chiefs meeting Friday in the so-called Tank—the classified meeting room in the Pentagon. Officials said that is where most of the military leaders were exposed to him.

(More coronavirus stories.)

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