Esper says only 1 active duty servicemember has died from coronavirus

DOD, United Airlines say masked passengers ‘extremely unlikely’ to catch COVID-19

U.S. Department of Defense and United Airlines conduct study and find the risk of exposure to coronavirus on commercial airlines is ‘virtually nonexistent’; Fox News correspondent Bryan Llenas reports.

Only 1 active-duty service member has died from coronavirus, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said.

The United States military has 1.3 million personnel deployed worldwide, spread over 150 countries. As many as 165,000 are assigned permanently in foreign countries, according to the Defense Manpower Data Center.

Esper’s claim contradicts the Department of Defense’s official listings. On its website, it says there have been eight military deaths due to COVID-19.  

Other metrics, like worldometers, claim that number might actually be as high as 100. Worldometers has tracked coronavirus infections and deaths worldwide as well as in each state in the U.S.

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Fox News reached out the Department of Defense for context or comment on Esper’s claim but has not yet heard back.

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