Now moving on to the latest COVID-19 statistics for the Department of State, as of today, April 3rd, there are 108 confirmed cases overseas. There are 46 confirmed cases domestically, occurring in nine different cities. So far, there are no reported deaths domestically, but unfortunately there are now a total of three deaths overseas amongst our workforce.
QUESTION: Hi, thanks. I just had a question about the number of State Department deaths and a testing question. The first is: Can you give us any more information about the employee, the third person who had died or what country that was in and any other information you can give us?
And second, does State currently have a standard policy on testing? Do – for example, people who think they may be – may have the virus but are not showing symptoms, are they able to get tested? What is the standard guidance on department employees getting tested? Thanks.
MR WALTERS: So as to the first question, I can tell you that it was a locally-employed staff member overseas. I don’t – can’t really go into any further detail because it becomes easier and easier to identify individual people when you do that, so I’m afraid I can’t.
With regard to testing, domestically we all exist within a broad public health architecture. From an occupational health perspective, we have a responsibility to protect the workforce, but we live within and work within the city of Washington, D.C., or in Virginia or Maryland, and ultimately testing and contact tracing is a local and state responsibility and authority. And so we cooperate very closely with the state and local and county public health teams to make sure that we keep the workforce safe and make sure testing is used appropriately.
QUESTION: Hi, there. Thanks. Sorry, I was – I missed part of the answer to Nick’s question because of Elmo, but – (laughter) – did you, Doc Walters, say that the third death was a locally employed staffer? And is it correct that there are still no American staffers overseas who have been —who have succumbed?
And then secondly, the – how many of the more than 400 flights that Ian is talking about were commercial flights that – for which the U.S. Government did not have to pay anything? Thank you.
MR WALTERS: Thanks, Matt. I can answer the first part and then I’ll hand over to Ian and DAS Yon for the last part.
Yeah, so locally employed staff member overseas – we are not aware of any chief of mission personnel overseas who have succumbed to the illness.
Posted: 12:33 am ET
Media reports say that Army Staff Sgt. Logan J. Melgar was found dead in his room in embassy housing in Bamako, Mali on June 4, 2017 and that two members of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six are reportedly under investigation in his death. One official told ABC News that the death is being investigated by the Navy’s Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) as a homicide and that investigators are looking into Melgar’s suspected asphyxiation.
Sgt. Melgar died in Bamako far from battlefield, in an “odd event” that requires an investigation. But the death occurred in June and even if there is an ongoing investigation, why is the public hearing about this death almost five months after the incident? The death also reportedly occurred in an embassy housing. Since NCIS (and not Diplomatic Security) is investigating, we suspect but that these DOD members are not/not under Chief of Mission Authority (pdf) while at post but under AFRICOM.
To the inevitable next question as to what our troops are doing in Mali, we understand that France is in the lead to counter Al Qaida/ISIS affiliates and the US military works in support of French operations in that country. It is also our understanding that there are six western hostages being held in Mali including one US citizen.
— Jeff Stein (@SpyTalker) October 29, 2017
DETAILS: Two members of the Navy's elite SEAL Team Six under investigation for death of Green Beret in Mali https://t.co/wlSqG4D518
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 29, 2017
AFRICOM and the U.S. Army have failed to make any statements despite the brutal murder occurring back in June and the SEALs being named pic.twitter.com/X0YSXmQRuz
— michael adams (@mla1396) October 29, 2017
— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) October 29, 2017
— OSAC (@OSACState) June 23, 2017