USA

COVID: US Marine General Tests Positive

General Gary Thomas is the latest top US defence official to have contracted coronavirus.

A United States marine general has become the latest attendee at a Pentagon meeting to test positive for coronavirus.

General Gary Thomas returned a positive test days after he and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were in a meeting with the vice commander of the Coast Guard, who was infected with the virus.

Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen Thomas, joined the list of those in self-quarantine since Tuesday, having attended the meeting with Admiral Charles Ray, who also tested positive for COVID-19.

US officials said none of the other top military leaders in the meeting, including General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have so far tested positive.

The Pentagon’s chief spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said: "At this time we have no additional senior leader positive test results to report.

"We will continue to follow CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidance for self-quarantining and contact tracing."

Adm Ray attended the Joint Chiefs meeting on Friday in the so-called 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.

President Donald Trump has himself returned to the Oval Office, despite still recovering from his own coronavirus diagnosis.

He recently wrote on Twitter that remaining American personnel in Afghanistan will be "home by Christmas" – a pledge welcomed by the Taliban, which is party to a strained, US-brokered peace deal with the Government.

Cover image: General Gary Thomas in 2018 (Picture: US Department of Defense).