Anthony Tata, a retired Army general who was recently named a top Pentagon official, has tested positive for the coronavirus, Bloomberg News reported Thursday night.
Tata has been performing the duties of the undersecretary of defense for policy since last week, after Defense Secretary Mark Esper and his top aides were ousted by President Donald Trump for perceived disloyalty.
Bloomberg reported that Tata and other Defense Department officials were tested Thursday after Lithuania’s defense minister, who recently visited the Pentagon, tested positive for COVID-19 after his trip.
Bloomberg said only Tata has tested positive, and that he left the building afterward. Tata was reportedly in a meeting with acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley and others earlier this week.
A Pentagon spokesperson told Bloomberg that Miller and other top officials were not quarantining. Miller reportedly visited troops at Fort Bragg, N.C. and toured the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier on Wednesday. That’s in stark contrast how Milley and other top military officials acted in October, when a number of top brass quarantined themselves after potential coronavirus exposure.
Earlier this year, Tata, a Trump loyalist, withdrew his name from a nomination for the post after significant Senate opposition that painted him as unqualified and overly partisan. Tata has publicly made offensive remarks about Islam and once called President Barack Obama a “terrorist leader.”