March 5, 2020 / 7:32 PM / a month ago

Pentagon to keep operating in event of coronavirus outbreak - Esper

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks during a joint news conference with Britain's Secretary of State of Defence Ben Wallace after their meeting at Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., March 5, 2020. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defence Secretary Mark Esper said on Thursday he expected the Pentagon to be able to keep carrying out its core functions in the event of a coronavirus outbreak at the massive military headquarters, where 22,000 people work every day.

“We have a lot of capabilities in this building. Our National Military Command Center has the capability to go for weeks at a time if they have to be locked down inside the building if we have some type of outbreak,” Esper told a news conference.

“So, we’re fully confident that we can continue to perform the functions that the Pentagon needs to perform if we have some type of outbreak in the building.”

Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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