A US official said on Friday that more than 150 National Guard troops deployed in Washington ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration have tested positive for the coronavirus. Following the deadly attack on the US Capitol by pro-Trump supporters, the law enforcement agencies took extraordinary measures in Washington, DC.
Reuters reported that even though only a small fraction of the total 25,000 troops deployed in the city have tested positive, the number is likely to increase. It comes as the American health officials reported more than 4,000 daily coronavirus fatalities on the second straight day on Thursday, bringing the total number of deaths to 410,000.
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In a statement, the National Guard said that the infection soldiers were following the CDC guidelines, including temperature checks and a screening questionnaire. The statement further added that it would not discuss the COVID-19 infections. Meanwhile, the US military stated that the arrangements are being made to send the troops back home, and more than 15,000 personnel are likely to leave Washington, DC, within the next ten days.
However, security officials have maintained that some National Guard are expected to stay in the city through the end of January, citing several security concerns. Through mid-March, as many as 5,000 troops are expected to stay in the Capitol, but the period and the number of soldiers could change as per the situation.
The shocking report comes as the US remains the worst-affected country by the pandemic in terms of total confirmed infections. According to the data compiled by John Hopkins University, America has so far recorded a total of 24.7 million confirmed virus cases. On the other hand, the FDA had approved two vaccines and kick-started the vaccination drive last year under former president Trump.
But Biden had vowed to prepare a better response to the pandemic as well as speed up the vaccination drive across the US. The new administration has said that it aims to inoculate as many as 100 million people in the first hundred days in the White House. Meanwhile, Doctor Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, stated that Biden’s goal is doable.
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