Marine general tests positive for COVID-19 after Pentagon meeting

The second-highest ranking U.S. Marine Corps officer has tested positive for COVID-19, officials said.

Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Gary Thomas tested positive on Wednesday, the service announced.  

Thomas was among top military leaders who have been under self-quarantine after Adm. Charles W. Ray, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard, also tested positive for the virus. 


Official Photo of the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Gary L. Thomas. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Hailey D. Clay)

In a statement, the Marines said Thomas will continue to quarantine at home. He has been experiencing “mild symptoms, but otherwise is feeling well,” the statement added.

“The Marine Corps is following established policies for COVID, per CDC guidelines, to include quarantine and contact tracing. According to CDC guidelines, any Marine Corps personnel who were in close contact with the general will also quarantine,” the statement said.

The military leaders who were in contact with Ray were told Monday evening that he had tested positive, and they were all tested Tuesday morning, according to several U.S. officials. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, and the vice chairman, Gen. John Hyten, were among those affected.

"At this time we have no additional senior leader positive test results to report," said the Pentagon's chief spokesman Jonathan Hoffman. “We will continue to follow CDC guidance for self-quarantining and contact tracing.”

Ray was in a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff late Friday morning in what's called the Tank — the classified meeting room in the Pentagon. Officials said that is where most of the military leaders were exposed to him, but he also had other meetings with officials.

Top leaders at the Pentagon have largely remained free of COVID-19, although there have been a number of outbreaks across the active-duty force and the reserves around the nation and overseas. Overall, more than 47,000 service members have tested positive for the virus, as of Monday, 625 have been hospitalized and eight have died.

This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press reported.