To take advantage of COVID-19 is terrible, tragic mistake: US CJCS General Milley


“I wouldn’t want any mixed messages going out there to any adversaries that think they can take advantage of an opportunity, if you will, at a time of crisis.  That would be a terrible and tragic mistake if they thought that,” United States Armed Forces Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) General Mark A. Milley said in a virtual town hall on April 9 when asked if US military is ready to fight and win against any adversaries amid COVID-19 pandemic.

“The US military is very, very capable to conduct whatever operations are necessary to defend the American people.  And we are ready today, we’ll be ready tomorrow.  And we will adapt ourselves to be able to operate within a COVID-19 environment.  We’re already doing that,” General Milley said.

“Across the entire uniform military, we’ve got about – call it a little less than 2,000 so far, COVID-positive patients.  It’ll probably go up; but 2,000 out of 2.3 million is not huge.  And then you add in the 50,000 medical personnel and National Guard, and et cetera, that are committed to the states and so on,” he added.

“So we are dealing with COVID-19, but we are doing so to minimize the impact on operational readiness to be able to respond to any contingency.  So I’m very confident in — in the U.S. military’s ability to respond if necessary.  Hopefully, it won’t be necessary, but we can and will, if necessary,” General Milley said.

US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper also said he is “absolutely confident that we are very ready to handle any mission that comes our way.”

“Because our commanders and NCOs have taken great care to protect our units, to ensure mission readiness. They’ve taken a number of measures across the board, whether they are deployed overseas or here at home.  So I’m confident they are taking every possible measure to ensure that readiness exists,” Secretary Esper said.