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Senators Question Defense Secretary About COVID-19 Cases Among Military

Sherrod Brown at Ohio military installation
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and eight others have written the Defense Secretary with questions about how quickly coronavirus cases are rising among military members.

A group of U.S. Senators, including Sherrod Brown, is raising concerns about the rising number of coronavirus cases in the armed forces.

They’ve written a letter (see it below) to Defense Secretary Mark Esper to express their concerns. They say cases of COVID-19 among the military rose by more than 20,000 in July.

Senator Brown says Esper and other civilian leaders are not properly prioritizing the health of servicemembers.

“He’s simply failed in his efforts to address head on this coronavirus in the military.”

In the letter, Brown and eight other senators seek information about testing plans, saying many in the military have not been tested for COVID-19 so there’s no clear indication of how many members actually have the coronavirus.

They say as of late August there have been more than 36,000 cases in the military, including recent outbreaks at two bases in Okinawa, Japan that led to criticism about lax controls from that country’s defense minister.