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In response to the Pentagon, the state of alert is not going to change after Trump assessments optimistic for coronavirus


(L-R) Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Army General Mark Milley hold a year-end press conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on December 20, 2019.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon announced Friday that the Department of Defense's state of alert had not changed as the world responded to news of President Donald Trump's positive coronavirus test results.

"The US military is ready to defend our country and our interests. The readiness or ability of our armed forces does not change. Our national command and control structure is in no way affected by this announcement," Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement Friday.

Trump announced early Friday morning that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for coronavirus. The announcement came hours after the president announced he would initiate a quarantine process after top aide Hope Hicks tested positive for coronavirus.

Next up for the presidency, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen tested negative, the White House said later Friday.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chief General Mark Milley met with Trump on Sunday at the White House for a Gold Star Families event. Esper tested negative for coronavirus again on Monday and Wednesday. Esper, who is currently completing an international trip, will take another test on Friday.

Milley, the nation's most senior military officer, tested negative on Friday morning.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force Gen. Charles Brown, Secretary of the U.S. Air Force Barbara Barrett, Chief of Space Operations for the U.S. Space Force Gen. John Raymond, and Marine Corps Commander Gen. David Berger all attended the Gold Star event Families attended the White House and have since tested negative for coronavirus.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is also traveling, said he was given a test for coronavirus and that it was negative. Pompeo also told reporters traveling with him that he would continue his plans to travel to Asia on Sunday.

Health experts say that even if the test is negative, it is advisable to isolate for 48 hours after exposure.

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