Pentagon’s top military leaders quarantining after Coast Guard admiral tests positive for COVID-19

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(Photo courtesy ABC News)

ABC News – Almost all the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are quarantining at home after the vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard tested positive for COVID-19, according to two U.S. officials.

The decision that the nation’s senior military leaders should quarantinewas made after they were advised late Monday night that Adm. Charles Ray, with whom they had met with at a Pentagon meeting last Friday, had tested positive for the virus, said a U.S. official.

All of the people who attended the Pentagon meeting last Friday with Ray have tested negative for the virus and have not shown any symptoms, according to a senior Defense official.

The senior officers quarantining at home as a precautionary move include Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. John Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the other senior generals and admiral in charge of the Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard and the Space Force.

“Chairman Milley, Vice Chairman Hyten, Adm. Gilday, Gens. McConville, Brown, Raymond, Hokanson, Nakasone and Thomas were all in meetings with Adm. Ray, as were members of the Joint Staff,” said the official. “All have been tested with no positive results to report and none are exhibiting any symptoms.”

Not under quarantine is Gen. David Berger, the commandant of the Marine Corps, who was on foreign travel at the time of the meeting, said a U.S. official. However, Gen. Gary Thomas, the assistant commandant, who took his place at the high-level meeting is quarantining.

Also quarantining is Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of U.S. Cyber Command and the director of the National Security Agency.

Earlier on Tuesday the Pentagon’s top spokesman confirmed that contact tracing was also underway.

“We are aware that Vice Commandant Ray has tested positive for COVID-19 and that he was at the Pentagon last week for meetings with other senior military leaders,” said Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman in a statement. “Some meeting attendees included other service chiefs. We are conducting additional contact tracing and taking appropriate precautions to protect the force and the mission.”