The Marine Corps’ No. 2 officer has tested positive for Covid-19, the service announced on Wednesday, the second four-star officer to be affected by the virus this week.
Assistant Marine Commandant Gen. Gary Thomas was among top military officers who put themselves under quarantine this week after Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Charles Ray tested positive on Monday.
Thomas was one of the officers who met with Ray and other top military leaders at a secure conference room known as the “Tank” at the Pentagon on Friday. All but one member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as Thomas and the head of U.S. Cyber Command, have been in quarantine since Ray tested positive. Thomas is experiencing mild symptoms.
All of the senior leaders who came into contact with Ray have now been tested twice for Covid-19, once on Tuesday after Ray’s diagnosis and once again on Wednesday. None of the other senior leader tests came back positive, said Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman.
“We will continue to follow CDC guidance for self-quarantining and contact tracing,” Hoffman said.
The Pentagon is treating the meeting of top officers last Friday as the source of the potential virus spread, not a Gold Star event at the White House on Sept. 27 that was attended by President Donald Trump, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, Ray and other senior military leaders.
Milley, Vice Chairman Gen. John Hyten and the other leaders who came into contact with Ray continue to isolate and conduct their duties over secure phone and video calls, officials have said.
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