US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The Pentagon has put on alert one of its special task forces with a view to removing the country’s leadership from Washington in the event of a worsening situation with the spread of coronavirus. This was announced on Thursday by the American weekly Newsweek, emphasizing that the corresponding order was issued on March 16th.
According to the magazine, the United Operational Group of the Capital Region (JTF-NCR) has a total of 10 thousand Pentagon military and civil servants. She reports directly to the Minister of Defense. Major General Omar Jones is assigned to command the group.
Among its main tasks is to ensure the continuity of the work of the government in the event that the COVID-19 pandemic develops according to the most negative scenario, “the situation will become even more catastrophic and military intervention will be required,” Newsweek points out. In particular, scenarios of “possible riots” in the capital are considered, which may lead to the need to transfer the US president, members of the administration, senior officials of the Pentagon and other federal agencies to safer places.
For this, it is supposed, in particular, to use UH-60 Black Hawk multipurpose helicopters. Two companies of such helicopters from the 106th National Guard Air Battalion, stationed in Illinois, were deployed closer to Washington – at Fort Belvoir base (Virginia).
“We are the very quick reaction forces … in the metropolitan area of Columbia that are designed to help evacuate people,” the magazine quotes the words of Captain Adam Kowalski from the 106th battalion. At the same time, Newsweek quotes an unnamed Pentagon spokesperson: “No one wants to talk about a possible evacuation, especially in a situation where there is nowhere to move.” He means that coronavirus has already spread throughout the United States.
Last Wednesday, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the extension in the capital until May 15 of the emergency regime in connection with the pandemic. At that time, 2,197 cases of infection were reported in the District of Columbia, 72 people died. According to local experts, COVID-19 can be distributed in Washington according to the New York scenario, where one of the most difficult situations has developed in the country, and 887 people are connected to ventilators.
According to Johns Hopkins University, which makes calculations based on information from federal and local authorities, more than 671 thousand people were infected in the United States, over 33 thousand died.
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