National Guardsman is 1st US service member to die from coronavirus, Esper announces

Pentagon orders installations to stop reporting coronavirus cases ...


A member of the New Jersey National Guard died on Saturday after being hospitalized for over a week, becoming the first U.S. service member to succumb to the coronavirus.
Gov. Phil Murphy, D-N.J., said he was "heartbroken by the loss" of Capt. Douglas Linn Hickok, who was a drilling guardsman and physician’s assistant for the Guard.
Hickok had been in the hospital since March 21 after testing positive for COVID-19, according to a statement by the Pentagon released Monday.
"Today is a sad day for the Department of Defense as we have lost our first American service member -- active, reserve or Guard -- to coronavirus," Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in the statement. "This is a stinging loss for our military community and our condolences go out to his family, friends, civilian co-workers and the entire National Guard community."
Earlier in March, Murphy deployed the state's national guard to assist in efforts to quell the spread of coronavirus by helping to direct traffic at drive-by testing sites and distributing food and supplies where necessary.
New Jersey has 13,386 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state -- second only to New York. In addition, 161 people have died statewide.
"The news of this loss strengthens our resolve to work ever more closely with our interagency partners to stop the spread of COVID-19," Esper said.


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