National

US service member dies because of coronavirus

President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, right, walk as the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort takes off from the pier at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Va., Saturday, March 28, 2020. The ship is departing for New York to assist hospitals responding to the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says a New Jersey Army National Guardsman is the first U.S. service member to pass away because of the new coronavirus.

The guardsman died on Saturday, according to the Pentagon. The person had tested positive for COVID-19 and had been hospitalized since March 21.

“This is a stinging loss for our military community,” Esper says in a release, “and our condolences go out to his family, friends, civilian co-workers and the entire National Guard community. The news of this loss strengthens our resolve to work ever more closely with our interagency partners to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

MORE STORIES

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK