Four-Star Commander of SOUTHCOM Tests Negative for Coronavirus

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Admiral Craig S. Faller, Commander, U.S. Southern Command, briefs members of the news media
Admiral Craig S. Faller, Commander, U.S. Southern Command, briefs members of the news media on the importance of USSOUTHCOM to the United States National Defense Strategy at the Pentagon Briefing Room, Washington D.C., March 11, 2020. (DoD photo/Marvin Lynchard)

Adm. Craig Faller, head of U.S. Southern Command, and several members of his staff have all tested negative for coronavirus after meeting with a Brazilian delegation that included an infected member, SOUTHCOM said in a statement Tuesday.

"To date, U.S. Southern Command has had no confirmed cases of COVID-19, and results for all personnel tested are negative," according to the statement.

The number and identities of Faller's staff members who were tested were not disclosed for privacy reasons, SOUTHCOM said.

The tests were ordered after Faller and his staff hosted a Brazilian delegation led by President Jair Bolsonaro at SOUTHCOM headquarters in Miami on March 8.

Related: Four-Star Head of Southcom Monitored for Possible Coronavirus Exposure

The delegation included Bolsonaro's press secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, who later tested positive for coronavirus and has been reported to be self-isolating in Brazil after returning from the trip.

The Brazilian delegation, including Wajngarten, also visited President Donald Trump's estate at Mar-a-Lago while in Florida, and had dinner with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Bolsonaro later said he had tested negative for coronavirus. The White House said Trump was tested last Saturday, and his test was negative. The White House also said Pence has not been tested and has shown no symptoms since meeting with the Brazilian delegation.

"We are taking this national emergency seriously," the SOUTHCOM statement said. "The health and welfare of our men and women is our top priority. The command has contacted, and is closely monitoring, all personnel who supported the Brazilian delegation's visit."

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

Read more: COVID-19 coverage

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