Don’t Hide Military Infections From Us

Our military leadership says it will not disclose particulars of how many people are COVID-19 positive in which units and on which ships or at what bases.

Why? The public answer is that it might give our (potential) enemies information about our readiness. The non-public reasoning has been that it does not want China or Russia to know how much damage it could do if they intentionally released a biological agent in advance of an attack on us.

Frankly, I find both of those positions to be ridiculous.

Whether the carrier Franklin Roosevelt has maybe 500 virus cases out of a crew of 5,000 is not a signal of incapacitation. It can sail, supply and do recon without its large contingent of yeoman and women in non-critical jobs.

As for that biological agent issue, it would take a totally callous nation with Hitlerian leadership and no regard for worldwide respect to unleash biological warfare. It’s really unthinkable.

Might North Korea start trouble with the South or China with Taiwan if it appeared we were tied up fighting a medical issue within our armed forces? Possible but highly improbable because of the number of reserve people and equipment America has. And that matter of worldwide approbation remains.

I’m not overly concerned about RIMPAC so long as the all-nation crew members are kept aboard their ships or in quarantined quarters on Pearl Harbor Naval Base. No Waikiki “liberty” — although that would not be a very exciting night out now that all bars and restaurants are closed.

There certainly are exceptions to my tell-the-public argument.

Let’s say the Air Force (or Space Command) finds a bug in our missile interceptors which requires them all to be recalled for fixes. Should we broadcast that? No. That would be foolish and threaten our immediate defense.

But the House and Senate intelligence committees should be notified so somebody starts looking into who screwed up.

The virus invasion of our troops is something with the ability to affect us all as home bases for ground troops and ports for sea-going troops.

Knowing is important.

Published by Bob Jones

Journalist since age 19. St. Petersburg Times, Noticias y Viajes in Madrid, Overseas Weekly in Frankfurt and Paris, the Louisville Courier- Journal, the Honolulu Advertiser, KGMB-TV, NBC News foreign correspondent in Africa and Southeast Asia, and MidWeek columnist. LL.B LaSalle University Law. 3 years in the U.S. Air Force. Covered: Biafran War in Nigeria (1968) Vietnam War (1969-73), Iraq in 1991. George Foster Peabody Award for distinguished journalism for reporting in China. 2 Emmys for documentaries. Married to journalist Denby Fawcett; one daughter. Brett Jones, foreign service officer, State Department.

2 replies on “Don’t Hide Military Infections From Us”

  1. There is no “Pearl Harbor Naval Base” capitalized as an official name.
    Since 2010, the facility has been called Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
    Before that, the Navy portion was Naval Station Pearl Harbor.
    Get it straight if you want credibility.

  2. Interesting telling how many are many does Cinnah have? ruskies? Their military is not telling.
    Also The RIMPAC can use bases and recreational areas like Bellows and Ft DeRussy. No fraternization with opposite sex of the community though. Male and female.
    So only four big bases and two main beaches used by military. No economic help except farmers and distribution of supplies.
    I hope they do not spread to other ships.

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