Pentagon leaders see COVID-19 crisis lasting months, destabilizing regions

Mark Esper MilleyThe United States Department of Defense is working under the assumption that the COVID-19 epidemic will seriously affect the life of the country for “at least several months”, and might cause “political chaos” in parts of the world. This was stated during a virtual town hall for members of the US Armed Forces, which was hosted on Tuesday by Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley.

General Milley told participants that the Pentagon was planning “for this to be a few months at least”. He added that, according to all indications, the US was looking at “eight to 10, maybe 12 weeks —something like three months” of confronting serious disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It could be “as late as July”, said Milley, and assured the audience that the Department of Defense was “taking all precautionary measures to be in it for the long-haul”.

Both speakers speculated that the pandemic could destabilize a number of countries around the world, and that the ensuing lack of security could pose threats to US interests. Milley pointed out that acute shortages of critical medical equipment, such as respirators, gloves, masks and ventilators, could cause certain countries to spiral into instability that will “go well beyond the immediate medical issues” and “lead to political chaos”.

On Wednesday, Brigadier General Dr. Paul Friedrichs, who serves as the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Staff Surgeon (the Pentagon’s most senior medical professional), said that COVID-19 was spreading too quickly for experts to determine how many troops would eventually end up contracting the disease. However, Dr. Friedrichs cautioned against lightening any restrictions on social distancing before sufficient time passes to “make a dent” on infection rates. Doing so “could be disastrous”, he warned.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 26 March 2020 | Permalink

3 Responses to Pentagon leaders see COVID-19 crisis lasting months, destabilizing regions

  1. Pete says:

    Where “General Milley told participants that the Pentagon was planning “for this to be a few months at least”.” This clearly contradicts the views of Milley’s boss, America’s Commander-in-Chief, President Trump’s comments just 2 days before.

    See “Trump Wants U.S. ‘Opened Up’ by Easter…” http://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/24/us/politics/trump-coronavirus-easter.html

  2. Brigadier General Dr. Paul Friedrichs had best watch out or his Commander in Chief might fire him in less than 15 days!

  3. Pingback: Pentagon leaders see COVID-19 crisis lasting months … | Latest news about (global) epidemic or disease outbreak

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