Top Pentagon official tests positive for COVID-19

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Pentagon official and retired Brigadier Gen. Anthony Tata has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced Thursday.

Tata, whose official title is performing the duties of under secretary of defense for policy, this week met with several top defense officials, including acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist. It was unclear when he last briefed top officials.

Tata was not present for Miller’s Wednesday visit to Fort Bragg, N.C., and the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, where the secretary’s chief of staff Kash Patel was also present, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the diagnosis. Tata will quarantine at home for the next 14 days.

Last week Tata, Miller and the secretaries of the Air Force and the Army with Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis, who later tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Thursday statement from DoD.


“We have and are continuing to conduct further contact tracing of DoD personnel who have had close contact with the Lithuanian delegation or Mr. Tata, and are taking appropriate precautions in accordance with CDC guidelines,” the statement reads. “Additionally, DoD personnel who had contact with the delegation have received or are receiving at this time rapid COVID tests as deemed necessary based on CDC protocols.”

The report comes just over a month after an outbreak among top Pentagon officials that required several members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to self-isolate after Coast Guard vice commandant Adm. Charles Ray tested positive. Ray, who tested positive Oct. 5, had met with several Joint Chiefs members, including Milley, three days before. Milley and other officials who met with Ray tested negative and were experiencing no symptoms Oct. 6.

The Hill has reached out to the Defense Department for comment.

Updated: 10:42 p.m.

Tags Coronavirus Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley

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