DEFENSE

Coast Guard's vice commandant tests positive for COVID-19

Crew members aboard Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley salute as Pacific Area Commander Vice Adm. Charles Ray visits in Kodiak, Alaska, Feb. 18, 2015. Ray was given a tour and time to recognize a few shipmates before touring other units in Kodiak. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dale Arnould)

Charles Ray, then vice admiral, visits in Kodiak, Alaska in 2015.

The vice commandant for the U.S. Coast Guard, Adm. Charles Ray, has tested positive for COVID-19, setting off a wave of self-quarantine for many senior defense officials including the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The development comes days after President Donald Trump tested positive and was hospitalized for COVID-19. Several members of the current and former White House staff along with Trump's family have also tested positive.

Jonathan Hoffman, the Defense Department's chief spokesperson, said via statement that Ray was at the Pentagon "last week for meetings with other senior military leaders," including other service chiefs.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported that members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, were in those meetings and self-quarantining.

A senior DOD official later confirmed that the Joint Chiefs of Staff's vice chairman Gen. John Hyten, along with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday, Gens. Charles Brown, the Air Force chief of staff, James McConville, Army chief of staff, and Paul Nakasone, the head of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, were also present in meetings with Ray, according to the statement. Gens. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gary Thomas, assistant commandant to the Marine Corps, John Raymond, who leads DOD space operations, and members of the Joint Staff were also present, CNN reported

"No positive results to report and none are exhibiting symptoms," according to the DOD official.

DOD said in a statement that it is conducting contact tracing and that "all potential close contacts from these meetings are self-quarantining" and were tested Oct. 6.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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