Marine Corps Second-in-Command Tests Positive for Coronavirus

October 7, 2020 8:36 PM
Official Photo of the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Gary L. Thomas. U.S. Marine Corps Photo

Marine Corps Assistant Commandant Gen. Gary Thomas had a positive COVID-19 test result on Wednesday, the service announced.

Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Joe Butterfield said Thomas had initiated quarantine on Tuesday due to exposure to a positive case.

“The Marine Corps is following established policies for COVID, per CDC guidelines, to include quarantine and contact tracing. According to CDC guidelines, any Marine Corps personnel who were in close contact with the general will also quarantine,” Butterfield said in a statement.
“In accordance with established Marine Corps COVID policies, Gen. Thomas will continue to quarantine at home. He is experiencing mild symptoms, but otherwise is feeling well,” he continued.

Thomas is one of nine general and flag officers who began quarantining this week after Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Charles Ray tested positive for COVID-19. Thomas and the other officials met with Ray in the Pentagon last week.

“We are aware of General Thomas’ positive test for COVID-19. At this time we have no additional senior leader positive test results to report,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement. “We will continue to follow CDC guidance for self-quarantining and contact tracing.”

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday also came into contact with Ray and is quarantining. Gilday later tested negative.

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger was traveling last week in the United Kingdom, so he had not met with Ray.

Berger on Sept. 27 went to the White House for a Gold Star event, where President Trump was also present. Trump last week tested positive for COVID-19. USNI News previously reported that Berger tested negative for COVID-19 after the White House event.

Thomas’ positive rest result comes after the president, First Lady Melanie Trump and multiple White House officials have tested positive for coronavirus.

Mallory Shelbourne

Mallory Shelbourne

Mallory Shelbourne is a reporter for USNI News. She previously covered the Navy for Inside Defense and reported on politics for The Hill.
Follow @MalShelbourne

Get USNI News updates delivered to your inbox