This is CSIS’s weekly roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Friday, April 9. 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 increased over the past week, with the 7-day average increasing by 23 percent to 740 new cases as of April 16. This marks a return to increased incidence in DoD new cases after they declined last week, which parallels similar trends in the broader U.S. population. Deaths rose by 3 this past week, reaching 338 as of Friday, April 16. The DoD has vaccinated a total of 2,453,989 individuals as of April 16.
- April 9: CNN reported that nearly 40 percent of the Marine Corps have declined Covid-19 vaccinations.
- April 13: Military Times reports that the DoD would stop administering Johnson & Johnson vaccines in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation to pause administration of this vaccine in response to dangerous blood clotting side effects.
- April 14: The Defense Health Agency launched the Defense Health Agency Appointing Portal (DAP), which can be used to book appointments to get a Covid-19 vaccine through the DoD.
- April 15: Army Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead recognized the role of the Maryland Army National Guard and the state’s Vaccine Equity Task Force in helping Maryland become one of the top states in the country for vaccinating minority residents.
- April 16: Marine Corps Times reports that a study of Marine Corps recruits in South Carolina indicated that ten percent of recruits whose blood tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies before training were re-infected with Covid-19 during basic training.
- April 16: Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby announced that the Defense Department’s Covid task force has reallocated 30,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to overseas commands to be distributed to servicemen and their families beginning on May 10. Kirby indicated that DoD is on track to meet its goal of 70 percent of overseas personnel being vaccinated by the end of May.
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)