This is CSIS’s weekly roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Friday, May 7. 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 sharply over the past week, with the 7-day average decreasing by 39 percent to 258 new cases as of May 14. This marks the fourth 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 350 as of Friday, May 14. DoD has vaccinated a total of 3,224,564 individuals as of May 14.
- May 6: The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) vaccinated a total of 1,624 sailors as part of its Covid-19 vaccine exercise SHOTEX.
- May 11: Brigadier General Mark Thompson, Regional Health Command Europe commanding general, announced that approximately 30 percent of the U.S. military community in Europe has received one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and is on track to meet the Army’s goal to deliver at least one dose to every member of the Army military community by early June.
- May 13: Acting Pentagon acquisition chief Stacy Cummings stated that DoD needs at least $11 billion in supplemental funding from Congress for pandemic-related costs associated with supporting existing modernization programs, military readiness accounts, and defense contractors. This comes after House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) told reporters last year that he believed that DoD does not require additional funding to reimburse defense contractor’s accrued Covid-19-related expenses.
- May 14: Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks announced that fully vaccinated DoD personnel are no longer required to wear a mask at DoD facilities. Personnel who are not fully vaccinated are still required to wear masks in accordance with CDC guidelines released Thursday.
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)