Top Pentagon officials said today that the new US coronavirus epidemic could go on for months, assuring that the country’s armed forces will continue to support efforts as long as needed, while also referring to the imminent danger of “political chaos” ensuing in certain countries.
The new coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 550 people in the US, which already counts more than 43,800 cases.
US President Donald Trump said that he is thinking about how the US economy will be reactivated when the 15-day quarantine expires next week, even though the disease continues to spread rapidly and hospitals are trying to prepare themselves for an incoming wave of deaths from the virus.
“I think we need to come up with a plan for this, for a few months at least, and we are taking all the precautionary measures to do it,” said US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, when asked for how long the epidemic may last and how long the armed forces will support efforts to deal with the crisis.
“I am absolutely convinced that at the end of the day, within a couple of months, we will succeed,” Esper assured.
During an “online conversation” with US forces around the world, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley pointed out that, although it is unclear how long the epidemic will last, taking into account models from other countries’ experience, whether or not they are implemented in the US, the pandemic could last well into July.
“If these models are applicable, we are probably looking towards the end of May, June, something on this scale, it could even be at the end of July,” Milley noted.
The two men warned that the pandemic could destabilize some countries to the extent that they would represent a threat to the US.
“All this could lead some countries into political chaos. We must remain vigilant” claimed General Milley, while highlighting that the lack of masks, gloves and respirators could have “grave consequences for some countries, beyond the medical point of view”
The US will help its allies in the best possible way, Esper affirmed, but “for some of our opponents, all this could lead them to act (…) in a way that could have serious ramifications on our security.”