Two more US service members killed by COVID-19

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Another two U.S. service members have died from COVID-19, bringing the official number of troops killed during the pandemic to 17.

The two deaths were first noted in Wednesday’s update of the online chart the Pentagon maintains of coronavirus cases connected to the department.

The Navy confirmed Thursday that one of the deaths was a 52-year-old Navy reservist originally from Georgia.

Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Abdigafar Warsame, a reservist assigned to the Navy Operational Support Center in Columbus, Ohio, died at a civilian hospital Jan. 8, Navy Reserves spokesperson Cmdr. Ben Tisdale said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and coworkers of the sailor during this extremely difficult time,” Tisdale added. “We ask all sailors to continue to practice COVID-19 mitigation protocols, and report any symptoms immediately to their chain of command and local medical providers.”

A Pentagon spokesperson said the other death was a member of the New York Air National Guard. The New York National Guard did not immediately respond to requests for more information Thursday.

Warsame and the guardsman join seven other reservists and five other National Guardsmen who have died from COVID-19.

In addition, three active-duty service members have died from the disease: a Navy sailor and two Army soldiers.

The latest military deaths were revealed the same day President Biden was inaugurated, a day also marked by another 4,400-plus U.S. COVID-19 deaths. On Thursday, Biden released his national strategy for ending the pandemic, a plan that includes using the Defense Production Act (DPA) and other powers to speed up the manufacturing of testing and vaccine supplies.

Overall, the Pentagon has reported 202,720 coronavirus cases as of Wednesday, according to the department’s online chart.

The total cases reported Wednesday include 130,484 in the military, 38,301 among civilians, 21,072 among dependents and 12,863 among contractors.

Among military cases, 1,277 service members have been hospitalized over the course of the pandemic and 83,196 have recovered.

In addition to the 17 military deaths, there have been 144 civilian deaths, nine dependent deaths and 48 contractor deaths, according to the Pentagon data.


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