Senior Defense Department official Anthony Tata tested positive for COVID-19 this week after an infected foreign official toured the Pentagon — hobnobbing with the upper echelons of the US military, including the defense secretary and the secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Tata, a retired Army brigadier general, is the acting undersecretary of defense for policy, one of the top advisers to acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller. His illness may hamper implementation of President Trump’s remaining policies, which include a troop drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As of Friday, Tata, 61, has held the role just 10 days after being elevated amid a shakeup with Trump’s post-election firing of Secretary Mark Esper.
The virus apparently reached the Pentagon during visits from Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis. The dignitary made use of two visits — last Friday and Monday — to greet Miller as well as Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, Navy Secretary Ken Braithwaite and Air Force Secretary