U.S. Coast Guard Vice Commander Admiral Charles Ray tested positive on Monday.
“On Monday, the Vice Commander of the Coast Guard, Admiral Charles Ray, tested positive for COVID-19. He was tested the same day, after experiencing mild symptoms over the weekend, ”the Coast Guard said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The Coast Guard follows established policies for COVID, in accordance with CDC guidelines, to include quarantine and contact tracing. Under CDC guidelines, any Coast Guard personnel who were in close contact will also be quarantined. In accordance with COVID policies established by the Coast Guard, Admiral Ray will be in quarantine from his home, ”the statement said.
Ray recently attended several meetings at the Pentagon in secure areas with members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Several defense officials told CNN that senior Pentagon officials who were in close proximity to Ray have been tested and are awaiting the results.
As a precaution, Milley is working from home, a defense official said. Milley has so far tested negative. As President Donald Trump’s senior military adviser, he maintains a full suite of classified communications in his home, the official said.
U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Charles Brown, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday and chief of space operations Gen. John Raymond also work from home, according to several officials.
White House outbreak
The news comes after Trump organized an imprudent departure from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday, telling his supporters that the virus that dangerously deprived him of oxygen and hospitalization for 72 hours was not to be feared before. to pose for a photo without a mask. op on the balcony of the White House.
At least 11 of the president’s aides or allies have contracted the virus or – in the case of his daughter Ivanka – are working from home. Entire office suites remain vacant as Trump’s aides scramble to isolate him in the residence and out of the West Wing.
In the White House residence where he spoke without a mask, an already reduced staff was further reduced after the president and the first lady both contracted coronavirus. At least one staff member – who is military personnel directly assigned to support the president in the Oval Office and the residence – tested positive over the weekend, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Meanwhile, the prospect of the virus spreading among senior Pentagon officials will likely raise additional national security questions, especially given the military’s role in trying to reassure the American public following the positive diagnosis. from Trump last week.
In a statement released Friday morning, the Pentagon sought to allay fears that Trump’s positive diagnosis on Covid-19 poses a potentially imminent threat to national security, stressing that development does not warrant a change in alert levels defense or military posture.
“There is no change in the readiness or capacity of our armed forces. Our national command and control structure is in no way affected by this announcement, ”said Jonathan Hoffman, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.
“The US military is ready to defend our country and our interests,” he added.
This story is breaking and will be updated.