The D.C. National Guard says that some of its members have tested positive for COVID-19 since it was mobilized to respond to the protests over George Floyd’s death in Washington, but would not disclose how many had tested positive because of what a Guard official called “operational security.”
A spokesperson said that more than one member had tested positive, but did not specify exactly how many. Those who have tested positive or who are at high risk for the disease will be held back and prevented from being released from their orders until the threat of contagion has passed
The D.C. National Guard has 3,400 members, all of whom were activated to respond to the civil unrest in the capital. They were joined by guardsmen from other states, including South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Utah and Indiana.
Dr. Anthony Fauci weighed in on the situation in an interview, saying, “We have the right to peaceably demonstrate, and the demonstrators are exercising that right … it’s important to exercise your constitutional rights to be able to demonstrate, but it’s a delicate balance, because the reasons for demonstrating are valid. And yet, the demonstration itself puts one at an additional risk.”