WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) - The U.S. military is preparing to deploy field hospitals to New York and Seattle, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday, as he acknowledged for the first time that the global coronavirus pandemic could impact military readiness.
“Right now I anticipate sending a (field) hospital to Seattle and a hospital to New York City,” Esper told a news conference, adding he had put five expeditionary units on prepare to deploy orders.
“Once that’s confirmed, we will look to sending to other places.”
Esper, who also announced more security restrictions at the Pentagon, said he has not been tested for the coronavirus but was having his temperature checked. He said if U.S. troops show symptoms of infection by the coronavirus, they will be tested. (Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali Editing by Chris Reese)