McConville, the Army's Top General, Tests Positive for COVID-19

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Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. James C. McConville.
Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. James C. McConville, gives Paratroopers his coin on Fort Bragg, NC, Oct. 19, 2021. (U.S. Army photo by PFC Rognie Ortiz Vega)

Gen. James McConville, the Army's chief of staff, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and is working remotely, the service announced.

The news of McConville's illness comes as measures to combat the pandemic have started to recede across much of the country, with many businesses and schools returning to normal operations and mask mandates largely being lifted. The Pentagon's mask mandate, for example, was dropped in March.

McConville is experiencing only mild symptoms, according to an Army spokesperson. He is fully vaccinated and has received two COVID-19 booster shots.

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According to tracking by the New York Times, while deaths from the pandemic have been declining, coronavirus cases have been climbing nationally with a 39% spike in the past two weeks.

Most of the military's senior leaders, whose jobs require them to travel frequently, have been infected with the virus since the pandemic. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tested positive in January, and Gen. Dan Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, tested positive in December.

All have made full recoveries. Researchers have reported that patients who suffer the most severe effects of the virus typically have comorbidities, such as obesity and diabetes.

The Washington, D.C., area has seen a spike in high-profile COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Elaine Luria, D-Va.; and Attorney General Merrick Garland.

-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

Related: A Sign of the Times? DoD Skips Publishing Weekly COVID-19 Numbers

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