Covid-19 Response Update: December 18-January 8
Combating Covid-19 Series
This is CSIS’s regular roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Friday, December 18. 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 rose over the holidays, with the 7-day average increasing by 24 percent from 1,584 on December 18 to a new record high of 1,969 new cases on January 8. DoD cases continue to follow the broader trend among the U.S. population, with the new case average briefly falling to 1,063 by December 28 and then rising again to the present high. Deaths rose by 43 since December 18, reaching 203 as of this Friday, January 8.
- December 17: Michigan National Guard will assist with the distribution of vaccines, staffing around 50 vaccination and testing teams and in general supporting health care organizations across the state with logistics and medical assets. Defense One reports on the wider effort the National Guard is taking to assist with the rollout of vaccines.
- December 29: Lockheed Martin reported falling short of its 2020 delivery goal for F-35s due to the pandemic. 123 F-35s were delivered in 2020, down from its initial goal of 141 aircraft.
- December 31: A Los Angeles County supervisor requested the Navy hospital ship, USNS Mercy, return to Los Angeles to alleviate the burden on local hospitals.
- January 7: The Washington Post reports that this past spring DoD spent upwards of $70 million on a form of lightweight ventilator designed for wounded soldiers and unsuitable for Covid-19 patients.
- January 8: Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller reported in a statement that 1,051,800 vaccines were distributed under Operation Warp Speed this Friday, with the total doses distributed thus far reaching 22,184,400.
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)