A New Jersey Army National Guardsman became the first service member to die from novel coronavirus complications on Saturday, the Department of Defense announced on Monday. “Today is a sad day for the Department of Defense as we have lost our first American service member—an active, reserve or Guard—to Coronavirus,” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in a statement. “This is a stinging loss for our military community, 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.” The Pentagon did not immediately release the identity of the soldier or his age. At least 1,000 military service members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and 26 of them are being hospitalized.
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