Just announced the suspension of all operations of the U.S. military stationed abroad, U.S. Defense Secretary esper said on the 26th that in order to avoid leaks, the details of the number of U.S. military infections will not be released.
In an interview with Reuters, esper said that in the future, the total number of confirmed cases in the military will still be announced every day, but there will be no more specific breakdown.
“We won’t give a breakdown because it may expose that one area (US military) is more infected than others.” He didn’t do it.
In February 25th, the novel coronavirus pneumonia was first diagnosed in the US military base in the US, and increased to 227 as of 25, an increase of 30% over the previous day. Among them, 8 cases have been confirmed on the USS Roosevelt, which is deployed in the Pacific region and carries 5000 sailors.
During this period, the U.S. military kept a daily briefing, involving specific units and services, such as warships, aircraft carriers, contractors or civilian personnel of the Pentagon.
Esper said he did not want to develop such a habit of briefing. “We will not habitually provide the confirmed figures of each theater command, and some areas will be worrisome after 6 or 7 weeks, so the exposed information may be dangerous.”
He said operational security is particularly important for overseas troops, especially those deployed in East Africa, Syria and Afghanistan.
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Reuters believes that esper’s speech seems to highlight the U.S. military’s concerns about the direction of the outbreak in the coming months. Officials said that the number of confirmed cases of some key services in the United States has exceeded the number of overseas deployments.
The U.S. Air Force said 85 percent of the confirmed members were at home as of the 25th, while the Navy’s figure was close to 90 percent. The army did not give a percentage.
Esper did not confirm the ratio between the overseas and the local garrison, only mentioning that the commander of the overseas Garrison has greater authority to arrange movement restrictions for the soldiers and their families than the domestic deployed troops.
In Europe and the Middle East, thousands of U.S. military members are being quarantined or self quarantined because they have been exposed to diagnosed patients or high-risk areas. On the 25th, esper issued a “stop operation order”, requiring all US troops stationed abroad to stop all travel and action plans, and avoid bringing the virus home or spreading in the military. The ban lasted for up to 60 days.
In the interview, esper also stressed that the U.S. military still has “sufficient strength” and “there is no concern about the spread rate and impact of the epidemic.”