The Pentagon said on Friday morning that there had been no changes to alert levels for American troops worldwide, and that military analysts had not detected any unusual activity from potential adversaries resulting from the announcement that President Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus.
“There’s been no change to our alert levels,” the military’s Joint Staff said in a statement. “The U.S. military stands ready to defend our country and its citizens. There’s no change to the readiness or capability of our armed forces.”
General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper were last with Mr. Trump on Sunday, an administration official said, at a reception for Gold Star families attended by both Mr. Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump. They are both getting tested, the official said. Mr. Esper was traveling in North Africa on Friday, while General Milley was at the Pentagon.
As commander-in-chief, Mr. Trump can readily use secure communications channels to confer with top civilian Pentagon officials and military commanders while in quarantine at the White House, military officials said.
Military officials tracking operations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Pacific said they were monitoring for any possible increase in threats, but as of Friday morning had not detected any unusual activity.
In Iraq, for instance, American troops are already on heightened alert as tensions with Shia militias linked to Iran have increased in recent weeks. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned the United States will close its embassy in Baghdad if the Iraqi government does not rein in rocket attacks against the diplomatic compound and assaults on Iraq-contracted civilian convoys that provide supplies to U.S. personnel. Russian warplanes have flown dangerously close to American military aircraft in the Black and Baltic seas in recent weeks, in echoes of Cold War brinkmanship.
The Pentagon last month sent armored vehicles and additional fighter patrols to northeast Syria after a U.S. ground patrol helping with counterterrorism operations there was rammed by a Russian armored vehicle. Seven U.S. troops were injured and reported concussion-like symptoms.