White House event for families of deceased U.S. troops thrust into new light after admiral’s coronavirus diagnosis

    Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, puts his mask back on after a Medal of Honor presentation ceremony Sept. 11 at the White House. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

    The White House’s handling of an event for the family members of deceased U.S. troops was thrust into a new light on Tuesday amid the disclosure that a Coast Guard admiral who attended has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, forcing some of the military’s top generals and admirals into quarantine.

    The Sept. 27 ceremony, held on Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day with dozens of people in attendance, recognized the families of 20 deceased service members, according to a copy of the event program obtained by The Washington Post.

    President Trump, Vice President Pence, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and some of the military’s top generals and admirals were also at the event, which was held in the East Room. Most attendees did not wear masks or maintain social distancing, White House photographs of the event show.

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