Analysis / Forces

Covid-19 Response Update: October 14-November 19

Combating Covid-19 Series

This is CSIS’s roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Thursday, October 14. It explores what the military has done to combat Covid-19 and how the military has in turn been affected by the virus.

Major Updates

  • A study commissioned by the U.S. Army has shown that the Army has done a poor job of combating disinformation related to COVID in its ranks. This comes amid fears of Russia and China targeting US Servicemembers and military operations with information warfare campaigns.
  • Ranking member of the U.S. Senate Armed Service Committee Senator Jim Inhofe(R-OK) wrote a public letter urging the Department of Defense to suspend its vaccine mandate, suggesting the separations stemming from refusing the vaccine would unduly hurt readiness.
  • The Marine Corps, following a similar message from the Navy, described the consequences for refusing the service’s vaccine mandate. Civilian employees of the Department of Defense and Department of Veteran’s Affairs Veteran Health Administration also subject to disciplinary proceeding for refusing the vaccine.
  • Helping to combat high rates of infection combined with low levels of medical infrastructure, the US Army is deploying active-duty doctors and nurses to Idaho to help treat a surge of covid cases.
  • The newly appointed adjutant general of the Oklahoma National Guard say that he will not enforce the COVID mandate for OK National Guard personnel. The Department of Defense, considers it a lawful order, and will attempt to compel compliance with the order.

Military Cases of Covid-19

How DoD cases have been trending over time is broken down below, by total cases; active cases in the DoD; and across the military services.