Esper reminds public that only 1 active duty servicemember has died from coronavirus
Only 1 active-duty service member has died from coronavirus among 1.3 million since the outbreak of the pandemic.
The United States military has active personnel deployed worldwide, spread over 150 countries. As many as 165,000 are assigned permanently in foreign countries, according to the Defense Manpower Data Center.
On its website, the Department of Defense lists eight military deaths due to COVID-19, but that number includes guard or reserve service members.
The one service member, Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Charles Robert Thacker Jr., 41, died in April.
Thacker Jr. served on the Theodore Roosevelt.
"Our infection rates were much lower than the American people, and every -- every loss is terrible, but thank God we only lost one active duty service member, and that the force has done pretty well," Esper said in discussion at the Heritage Foundation.
"So, look, we're going to get infections. They will happen out there. We'll find hotspots -- we follow – you know, we train our people. If they get infected or near somebody we treat them. And of course we trace."
"So, you know, again, train, treat, trace, and follow those protocols, and then you had to be able to operate if you're in some type of quarantine status," Esper added.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP
"You've got to be able to do your job and we're all capable of doing that, whether you're, you know, the lowest private or secretary of defense, you name it, everything in between, is DOD is standing ready, standing tall, and we're prepared to continue on and make sure that we accomplish our mission."