Quarantined, Pentagon’s top general assures US remains well-protected

Joint Chiefs Chair General Mark Milley has so far tested negative for Covid-19. (AP pic)

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s top general, quarantined after being exposed to Covid-19, assured Thursday that the military remains at the ready to defend the US and allies.

Joint Chiefs Chair General Mark Milley along with several other top Pentagon leaders began self-quarantining at the beginning of this week after coming into contact with a Coast Guard officer who was infected with the coronavirus.

Despite that, and a surge of infection in the White House including President Donald Trump, “America is capable and ready to defend the homeland and support our allies and partners,” Milley said in a statement over Twitter.

“The Joint Chiefs and I remain in constant communication while in quarantine and the chain of command remains the same,” he said.

“There has been no impact on our ability to effectively plan, coordinate and synchronise efforts to defend our nation.”

The Covid-19 scare at the top levels of the US military came after Coast Guard Admiral Charles Ray took part in a White House ceremony for families of service members who died at war.

That event is believed to be one possible source of the coronavirus outbreak in the White House.

According to the Pentagon, Milley has so far tested negative for the disease, as have the others forced to self-quarantine after coming into contact with Ray: the Joint Chiefs vice-chair, and the heads of the army, navy, air force, space force, national guard, special forces and the huge National Security Agency.

The commander of the US Marines had been travelling when the others met with Ray, but his deputy announced Wednesday that he had tested positive for Covid-19.

Milley continues to work through secure communications from his official residence at Fort Myers, a military base adjacent to the Pentagon.