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Top US general quarantining after Coast Guard official tests positive for COVID-19

Top US general quarantining after Coast Guard official tests positive for COVID-19
© Greg Nash

The top U.S. general is quarantining at home after a Coast Guard admiral tested positive for the coronavirus.

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is one of several military officers defense officials said Tuesday are now quarantining after Coast Guard vice commandant Adm. Charles Ray tested positive for COVID-19.

Ray’s positive test came after he met with Milley and other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon on Friday.

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Milley and the others who met with Ray “all have been tested with no positive results to report and none are exhibiting any symptoms,” a senior defense official said.

In addition to the Pentagon meetings, Milley and Ray were also both at the White House on Sept. 27 for a Gold Star families event. Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperCutting defense spending by 10 percent would debilitate America's military Overnight Defense: Trump campaign's use of military helicopter raises ethics concerns | Air Force jets intercept aircraft over Trump rally | Senators introduce bill to expand visa screenings Trump campaign event use of Marine Corps helicopter raises ethics questions MORE was also at the event.

Several people in the White House, including President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE, and others close to the administration have tested positive for the coronavirus following a Sept. 26 celebration in the Rose Garden for the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, which happened the day before the Gold Star families event.

Even as the virus strikes the upper echelons of U.S. leadership and the military, the Pentagon has sought to downplay any concerns about national security.

“There is no change to the operational readiness or mission capability of the U.S. Armed Forces,” chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement Tuesday. “Senior military leaders are able to remain fully mission capable and perform their duties from an alternative work location.”