Mark Esper Eyes Phased Approach to Reopening Pentagon

Mark Esper - U.S. Defense Secretary
Mark Esper – U.S. Defense Secretary

Mark Esper, defense secretary and 2020 Wash100 Award winner, said the Department of Defense (DoD) is planning to facilitate a phased reopening of government operations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Defense One reported Monday.

Esper told attendees at a virtual event hosted by Brookings Institution that the DoD’s chief management officer “has been developing plans” to reopen the Pentagon and that the department has to adapt to the “new normal” in the coming months.

Esper’s comments were echoed by fellow 2020 Wash100 Award winners Gen. David Goldfein, the U.S. Air Force chief of staff, and U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy who called for adjustments to government protocols and procedures.

According to an FCW report, the DoD received $11 billion in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and is working on a reimbursement system for contractors.

“We also know that we need to restock our shelves, our inventory when it comes to medical supplies and equipment, but we also want to continue priming the defense industrial base,” said Esper.

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