Florida National Guard top-ranking general tests positive for COVID-19
Gov. Ron DeSantis, Major General Michael Calhoun, Major General James Eifert.

'This illness does not discriminate...'

The Florida National Guard’s top-ranking general announced late Tuesday he tested positive for COVID-19.

In a news release, the FLNG said Maj. Gen. James Eifert  spent more than two weeks in quarantine after learning he may have been exposed to the virus. He is now in consultation with physicians and doctors.

“The health of our Guardsmen and Department of Military Affairs employees is my top priority, and I will continue to act in accordance with all CDC protocols in order to keep them safe,” Eifert said in a statement. “My positive test result goes to show that this illness does not discriminate and highlights how important it is to follow the guidelines to limit its spread.”

DeSantis appointed Eifert as commander of the Florida National Guard last April to succeed Adjutant General Michael Calhoun.

As the Adjutant General, Eifert serves as the “senior military advisor to the Governor” and is responsible for “the overall management, readiness, and mobilization of both U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force elements of the Florida National Guard,” his military bio says.

Eifert is a 1982 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. Notably, he flew F-4s and F-15s throughout his career, and led the first-ever Air National Guard combat mission policing the Northern Iraq no-fly zone during “Operation Provide Comfort” in 1992.

The Florida National Guard since March has served on multiple fronts including the COVID-19 pandemic, hurricane response, civil unrest and overseas deployments.

More than 1,000 Soldiers and Airmen are currently mobilized to serve in a variety of missions worldwide.

To date, the Florida National Guard has also helped more than 1,375,000 Floridians get tested for COVID-19.

DeSantis on Tuesday said Florida will receive 400,000 COVID-19 rapid-test kits per week. The kits will be used used to detect the virus at senior centers, long-term care facilities and schools.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


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