U.S. – Pentagon directs military bases to stop releasing coronavirus figures

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3D illustration of Coronavirus, virus which causes SARS and MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
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(nbcnews) – The Pentagon has directed military bases to no longer provide specific numbers of COVID-19 cases to the press and public, citing operational security concerns and the need to ensure America’s adversaries don’t see any vulnerabilities.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said the Defense Department will continue to provide total numbers of coronavirus cases at the service level but will not release figures specific to each base. 

“If a commander believes that COVID-19 could affect the readiness of our strategic deterrent or strategic response forces, we understandably protect that information from public release and falling into the hands of our adversaries – as we expect they would do the same,” Hoffman said in a statement.

As of 5 a.m. Monday, there were 569 uniformed military members who have tested positive for the virus but no deaths, according to the Pentagon. An additional 220 Defense Department, 190 dependents, and 64 contractors have tested positive. One contractor and one dependent have died from the virus.

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