Skip to main content

Military Health System

Top Military Medical Doctor Predicts Coronavirus Longevity

Image of Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director of Defense Health Agency, delivers remarks at a media briefing on COVID-19 at the Pentagon, April 21, 2021. Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director of Defense Health Agency, delivers remarks at a media briefing on COVID-19 at the Pentagon, April 21, 2021. (DOD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 and other such coronaviruses likely will stay in the environment and continue to mutate, Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director of Defense Health Agency, said.

"And we're going to have to deal with it," he told participants today at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition at National Harbor, Maryland, on the topic of the COVID-19 response and post-pandemic national security.

The United States is in an "OK place, but not a great place," at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, adding, "I think one of the things that many of us believe — which is a fallacy — is that [COVID-19] is going to go away. It's not going away, just like influenza is not going away. And the thing about many viruses is they tend to mutate, and they tend to do things that keep them alive."

One of the things people should feel comfortable with is the Defense Department medical team has insatiable curiosity, he told the audience, adding that medical research is a continuous process of improvement.

Place said the first order of illness always calls for prevention, followed by diagnosis.

"We're interested in taking care of everybody — service members, family members, retirees — but the Military Health System exists for the military," the general said. "That's our purpose. And so we think about service members and what we can do to keep them healthy.  … What piece of gear, what piece of anything can we use to prevent anything bad from happening to them?" It can be something infectious such as a cold, or an emerging injury, he noted.

Looking at COVID-19 from a military scientific perspective, it is a biological event, he said. And the COVID-19 vaccine should be considered biological body armor.

However, the general said, "Tens of thousands of Americans die every year from influenza, and while most of us in the uniformed services get vaccinated, most Americans actually don't. That's a problem for us."

The reason the United States has such a suite of good vaccines "isn't because that magical thinking happened by some manufacturers in the spring of 2020," Place said. "This is [research] based on years, in some cases, and more than a decade of research on how to take the vaccination methodology to a new level."

There are huge improvements in the way we're looking at how vaccines work, he said. "And I believe we will get to a place where we're not talking about COVID all the time." He warned, however, that getting that peace of mind probably won't happen this year.

"We will get to a place where it's going to be another infectious disease that we worry about, or we think about — much like influenza, measles or tetanus" where people get vaccinations to ward off diseases, Place said. "It's going to be part of our reality for a long time."

You also may be interested in...

DOD's Whole of Government Approach to COVID is Working, Says Adirim

Article
8/13/2021
Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, right, speaks during a panel discussion.

Dr. Terry Adirim, said she has been impressed by the DOD’s COVID-19 response since taking over as ASDHA, and that adaptation and innovation have played key parts in that response.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Health Care Technology | Telehealth Program | Military Health System Transformation

Austin Seeks Presidential Approval for Mandatory Troop Vaccinations by Mid-September

Article
8/10/2021
Sailors receive COVID-19 vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for service members by mid-September, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a message to the force released yesterday.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Senior Medical Leaders Discuss COVID-19 Response

Article
8/6/2021
Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency making remarks

The keys to tackling the emerging COVID-19 pandemic were to quickly develop a comprehensive understanding of the virus, and then put a plan in place to fight it, says DHA Director.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Debunking Anti-Vaccine Myths with Scientific Facts

Article
8/5/2021
A soldier gets a shot in the arm.

Get the facts: Myths on why not to get COVID-19 vaccination debunked by science

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

COVID-19 Vaccines: Benefits Still Outweigh the Risks

Article
7/30/2021
Military personnel getting vaccinated

Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections are extremely rare, DHA’s Place says

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DOD Directs Employees to Start Wearing Face Masks Again

Article
7/29/2021
Military personnel wearing a face masks

Following guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the DOD has directed employees working in areas at high risk for transmission to begin using face masks again

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

It’s Not Over Yet: Some COVID Safety Precautions Remain Necessary

Article
7/22/2021
a crowd of people

Returning to society when fully vaccinated is great but keep that mask handy

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

How COVID-19 fast-tracked innovation in the Military Health System

Article
7/20/2021
Military personnel receiving the COVID-19 test

As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted every aspect of healthcare delivery, the Military Health System responded with new and innovative ways to fight the disease and deliver safe, quality care to patients.

Recommended Content:

| Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

COVID vaccinations rise -- but so do concerns of the Delta variant

Article
7/1/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask preparing a COVID-19 vaccine

MHS expected to reach 70% COVID-10 vaccination rate in July.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

New COVID-19 Delta Variant: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

Article
6/28/2021
Military personnel receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 Delta variant spreading rapidly; it’s time to get vaccinated

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Army’s 773rd administers mobile COVID-19 testing during DEF21

Article
6/4/2021
Three military personnel, wearing masks and lab coats, pose for a picture in an Albanian lab.

Approximately 800 Army Reserve soldiers from the U.S. and Europe participated in DEFENDER-Europe 21.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Readiness Capabilities

Mental Health Panel Discusses Impact of COVID-19

Article
6/3/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask speaking on a panel

Walter Reed Bethesda hosts mental health panel to discuss the impacts of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | | Psychological Fitness

Based on data, MHS experts encourage vaccines for adolescents

Article
6/1/2021
Sister and brother smiling at each other

With the Pfizer vaccine approved for youth ages 12 to 15, MHS adolescents are lining up to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Children's Health

“Shots in arms” – OPT planned & coordinated to meet COVID-19 mission

Article
5/28/2021
Military personnel sitting around a table talking

The Department of Defense’s COVID-19 Operational Planning Team has been the quiet force behind the DOD’s vaccination effort since November.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Adolescents ages 12 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/27/2021
Son of military personnel receiving his COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer vaccine now authorized for children 12 and older.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 46 - 60 Page 4 of 14
Refine your search
Last Updated: September 01, 2021
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery