Second-in-command of U.S. Marines becomes the second top military leader to test positive for COVID as eight including chairman of joint chiefs and senior military leaders quarantine after White House reception for Gold Star families

 The U.S. Marines' second-in-command has tested positive for COVID-19, the Pentagon has confirmed - increasing the concern within the Department of Defense as all senior military chiefs continue to quarantine. 

General Gary Thomas, 58, had been in self-quarantine since Tuesday 'out of an abundance of caution' after being notified he had recently been in contact with someone who later tested positive, a statement from the service said.

He is now the second senior military official to test positive, after Admiral Charles Ray, vice commandant of the Coast Guard.

Ray had been at a White House event on September 27, and with his military colleagues - including Thomas - on October 2.

Senior leaders now quarantining include Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Air Force Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville; Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday;  Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown; Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond; Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau; and Army Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, head of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency.  

General Gary Thomas, 58, has tested positive for COVID-19, it was confirmed on Wednesday

General Gary Thomas, 58, has tested positive for COVID-19, it was confirmed on Wednesday

Many senior officials were at a September 27 event for gold star families in the White House

Many senior officials were at a September 27 event for gold star families in the White House

Few people were wearing face masks, the day after the Rose Garden 'superspreader' event

Few people were wearing face masks, the day after the Rose Garden 'superspreader' event

The day before the gold star family event, a large gathering was held in the Rose Garden. Those infected include 1. President Donald Trump, 74; 2. First Lady Melania Trump, 50; 3. Fr. John Jenkins, 66. President of the University of Notre Dame; 4. Mike Lee, 49. Republican Utah Senator; 5. Thom Tillis, 60. Republican North Carolina Senator; 6. Kellyanne Conway, 53, Former White House Counselor to the President; 7. Chris Christie, 58. Former New Jersey Governor; 8. Kayleigh McEnany, 32. White House Press Secretary; 9. Chad Gilmartin. Assistant Press Secretary, 22; 10. Karoline Leavitt, 23. Assistant Press Secretary; 11. Pastor Greg Laurie, 67. Harvest Crusades televangelist

The day before the gold star family event, a large gathering was held in the Rose Garden. Those infected include 1. President Donald Trump, 74; 2. First Lady Melania Trump, 50; 3. Fr. John Jenkins, 66. President of the University of Notre Dame; 4. Mike Lee, 49. Republican Utah Senator; 5. Thom Tillis, 60. Republican North Carolina Senator; 6. Kellyanne Conway, 53, Former White House Counselor to the President; 7. Chris Christie, 58. Former New Jersey Governor; 8. Kayleigh McEnany, 32. White House Press Secretary; 9. Chad Gilmartin. Assistant Press Secretary, 22; 10. Karoline Leavitt, 23. Assistant Press Secretary; 11. Pastor Greg Laurie, 67. Harvest Crusades televangelist

Several Republicans test positive after Barrett nomination party
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Admiral Charles W. Ray, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, tested positive Tuesday

Admiral Charles W. Ray, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, tested positive Tuesday

'The Marine Corps is following established policies for COVID, per CDC guidelines, to include quarantine and contact tracing,' the statement said. 

'According to CDC guidelines, any Marine Corps personnel who were in close contact with the general will also quarantine.' 


The positive test for Thomas comes one day after many of the U.S. military's top officers were forced into quarantine after the meeting with Ray, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard.

Ray tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.

Nine top military leaders, including Thomas, were forced to quarantine following the event. 

All have tested negative for the virus, but remain under quarantine as a precaution, said officials.  

Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten

 Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, (left) and Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten (right) are both quarantining after the October 2 event

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville (left) and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday (right) are isolating, as a precautionary measure

Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force,
US Army Lieutenant General Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard

Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force (left) and US Army Lieutenant General Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard (right) were both potentially exposed to COVID

Chief of Space Operations at US Space Force General John Raymond
National Security Agency Director Gen. Paul Nakasone

Chief of Space Operations at US Space Force General John Raymond (left) and National Security Agency Director Gen. Paul Nakasone (right) are both quarantining as well

The Texas-born general was experiencing mild symptoms, the Marines said

The Texas-born general was experiencing mild symptoms, the Marines said

Virus empties White House of staff and journalists
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Thomas was experiencing 'mild symptoms' but otherwise is 'feeling well.' 

Thomas, from Austin, Texas, has been the assistant commandant since Oct. 2018. 

Prior to that, the naval aviator oversaw the Corps' programs and resources. 

'We are aware of General Thomas' positive test for COVID-19,' Pentagon spokesman Jonathon Hoffman said. 

'At this time we have no additional senior leader positive test results to report. We will continue to follow CDC guidance for self-quarantining and contact tracing.'

Second-in-command of U.S. Marines becomes the second top military leader to test positive for COVID as eight including chairman of joint chiefs and senior military leaders quarantine after White House reception for Gold Star families Second-in-command of U.S. Marines becomes the second top military leader to test positive for COVID as eight including chairman of joint chiefs and senior military leaders quarantine after White House reception for Gold Star families Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:32 Rating: 5

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