Anthony Tata, Pentagon policy chief, has COVID-19

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Anthony Tata, a retired Army general now in the top policy job at the Pentagon, has tested positive for the coronavirus following a recent visit to Washington, D.C. by Lithuania’s defense minister, officials said late Thursday.

Mr. Tata has been performing the duties of Undersecretary of Defense for Policy since Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and several other top officials in the Department of Defense were ousted last week. He will remain in isolation at home for the next two weeks, officials said.

Lithuanian Minister of Defense Raimundas Karoblis visited with several military leaders, including Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, when he visited the Pentagon on Nov. 13, 2020. He has since tested positive for COVID-19. On Thursday, Lithuania’s embassy notified the Defense Department about his infection.

“As a result of the embassy notification, Mr. Tata was tested (Thursday) and has tested positive for COVID-19 on two successive tests,” chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said in a statement.

Minister Karoblis met with several other Pentagon officials, including the secretaries of the Army, Navy and the Air Force. Each has been tested since their meetings with him, Mr. Hoffman said.

Any Pentagon personnel who had contact with the Lithuanian delegation have received rapid COVID tests as deemed necessary by CDC protocols. Testing for anyone who has come into contact with Mr. Tata since his exposure is ongoing, officials said.

“We wish Minister Karoblis and Mr. Tata well and hope they recover quickly,” Mr. Hoffman said.

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