Anthony Tata, a top Pentagon official, has tested positive for the coronavirus after a meeting with Lithuania's defense minister, the Pentagon said late Thursday.
Tata, 61, a retired Army brigadier general and staunch Trump loyalist, recently took on the duties of undersecretary of defense for policy following a post-election shakeup at the Pentagon that also saw Secretary of Defense Mark Esper ousted and replaced by Christopher Miller, who is serving as acting defense secretary.
After two successive tests indicated he was positive for coronavirus, Tata will isolate at home for the next 14 days, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.
"We have and are continuing to conduct further contact tracing of DoD personnel who have had close contact with the Lithuanian delegation or Mr. Tata, and are taking appropriate precautions in accordance with CDC guidelines," Hoffman said. "Additionally, DoD personnel who had contact with the delegation have received or are receiving at this time rapid COVID tests as deemed necessary based on CDC protocols."
Tata learned of the diagnosis after meeting with Lithuania's Defense Minster Raimundas Karoblis, who has also tested positive after visiting the Pentagon last Friday. There, Karoblis also met with Miller, as well as the secretaries of the Army, Air Force and Navy, all of whom have been tested since their meeting. Karoblis notified the Pentagon of his positive test result Thursday. It was not immediately clear what the test results were for the others.