This is CSIS’s weekly roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Friday, April 30. It explores what the military has done to combat Covid-19 and how the military has in turn been affected by the virus.
New Department of Defense (DoD) cases of Covid-19 fell sharply over the past week, with the 7-day average decreasing by 32 percent to 420 new cases as of May 7. This marks the third consecutive week in which incident rates have declined, which is consistent with broader trends in the U.S. population. Deaths rose by 2 this past week, reaching 348 as of Friday, May 7. DoD has vaccinated a total of 3,051,387 individuals as of May 7.
- April 26: Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby announced that DoD will support the Indian government in their efforts to combat the country’s spike in Covid cases.
- April 27: The DoD announced that the military will resume administering the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine this week after pausing vaccine distribution on April 13.
- April 30: President Biden remarked in an interview with NBC’s Today Show that it is a “tough call” as to whether or not service members should be ordered to get the vaccine. When prompted to answer if he would order service members to get the vaccine, Biden said, “I’m going to leave it to the military.”
Military Cases of Covid-19
How DoD cases have been trending over time is broken down below, by new cases; total cases; active cases in the DoD; and across the military services.
Methodological note: 1) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday totals are divided across the intervening days and weekends since DoD Covid-19 updates are only released during the work week on a M-W-F basis. 2) Adjustments were made on April 9 and April 15 when new cases where negative. These days were totaled and divided by the previous day to account for the correction. 3) DoD appeared to change the way cases were reported between April 15-Aprilt 16. A resulting spike in cases on April 16 was divided over the two prior days to account for this methodological shift.
This weekly update is made possible by the International Security Program at CSIS.
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)