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DOD Rethinks Response for Next Virus Wave, Starts Testing Troops for Antibodies
Posted on May 29, 2020

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the Pentagon may re-think its response to a potential second wave of coronavirus outbreak, he told reporters Thursday, according to AP.

“If one were to assume that the biggest wave that hit is the first wave, we’ve demonstrated that we have the hospital capacity, the ventilator capacity, all those other,” Esper said. “If we can handle that first wave, we can handle anything else after that.”

Instead of sending Navy hospital ships and setting up field hospitals that were under-used, Esper said Pentagon leaders may provide more targeted aid for communities.

“I think that’s a big lesson learned,” Esper said.

Leaders may also shorten the quarantine time for troops who have been exposed to the virus. Esper said members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force recently told him it may not be necessary to be isolated for a full 14 days.

Esper said the military is already performing antibody tests on service members who recovered from COVID-19 to determine if their plasma can be used to stop others from getting sick.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Army Gen. Mark Milley also mentioned the antibody testing at a town hall streamed online and said DOD will continue testing service members who recovered to see if they have antibodies.

“We may want to ask you to stick your arm out and donate blood,” Milley said.

DOD Photo by Marv Lynchard

Post courtesy of the Association of Defense Communities

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