Analysis / Covid-19

Covid-19 Response Update: May 21-June 4

Combating Covid-19 Series

This is CSIS’s weekly roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Friday, May 21. 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 decreased over the past two weeks, with the 7-day average decreasing by 55 percent to 126 new cases as of June 4. This marks the seventh consecutive week in which incident rates have declined, which is consistent with broader trends in the U.S. population. Deaths rose by 2 over the past two weeks, reaching 353 as of Friday, June  4. DoD has administered a total of 3,669,500 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine as of June 4.  

Major Updates

  • May 25: Dr. Terry Adirim, acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs commented that DoD crossed the 60 percent threshold of active-duty service members receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.
  • May 26: The Navy announced that it has administered over 1,000,000 Covid-19 vaccines to sailors, marines, DoD civilians, and other beneficiaries. The Navy has the highest vaccination rate among the services.
  • May 28: Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks briefed reporters that the FY 2022 DoD budget looks to invest in systems whose programs faced deficits due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • May 28: The U.S. Navy Office of Information announces that they will conclude publishing weekly Covid-19 releases as case numbers continue to decrease.
  • June 2: This week marks the last week of reporting on Covid-19 from several military branches as case numbers across the country continue to decrease.

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)


Cite this Page

William Healzer, Adam Saxton and Mark Cancian, "Covid-19 Response Update: May 21-June 4," Center for Strategic and International Studies, June 7, 2021, last modified June 7, 2021,