- The Washington Times - Monday, April 27, 2020

U.S. Northern Command, which is overseeing the military role for fighting COVID-19, has shifted to a stabilizing effort with an eye to scaling down anti-virus support activities, a Pentagon source said on Monday.

The source told The Washington Times that NorthCom had been in “phase 3, respond” and now has directed components to move to phase 4. Phase 5 would be “transition.”

The source said the command is watching developments and will look to end specific support operations if appropriate on a case by case basis.

The order is perhaps a sign that the country is turning the corner on blunting the pandemic.

Evidence of the new phase came last week when the Pentagon talked of ending the hospital ship USS Comfort deployment to New York City and returning it to Navy control in Norfolk.

Chief Pentagon spokesman Johnathan Rath Hoffman told reporters,

“While in New York City and other locations, local officials indicate that the rate of infections and hospitalizations is declining, we are aware that there are other cities where that is not the case. Therefore, NORTHCOM is still taking action to ensure that DOD personnel and resources are deployed in the proper locations to do the most good. As of today, we have more than 60,000 personnel deployed nationwide, including 4,400 medical professionals on the front lines.”

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