The US has become the worst-affected country by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 3.257 million infections and at least 132,000 deaths. President Trump finally wore a mask on Saturday while visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The latest surge in cases is happening across the Sun Belt region - home to major military installations.
We learned last week, due to an explosion in virus cases in Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, California, Texas, and Florida, with some of these states home to America's largest military bases, the Navy has axed physical fitness tests for the remainder of the year to mitigate virus spreading.
"The COVID-19 situation requires that we continue to minimize risk to personnel, therefore all personnel will be 'EXCUSED' from participation in Navy PFA (Physical Fitness Assessment) Cycle 2, 2020," according to a naval administrative message (NAVADMIN) released Tuesday.
"Suspension includes both the official Body Composition Assessment and Physical Readiness Test components of the PFA," the NAVADMIN said.
"All Navy commands are to continue the suspension of all organized or group physical training (PT) (i.e., Command, Department or Division PT and the Fitness Enhancement Program (FEP)), until further notice," the memo added.
Here's a partial view of the memo:
Additionally, the memo said sailors are permitted to conduct mock PFAs when conditions permit, following local virus guidelines. Mock PFAs will be restricted to no more than ten people and temperature checks.
The Navy canceled PFA requirements in another memo in March, around the time the first lockdowns began.
Last week, Major General William F. Mullen III told reporters that Marine PFAs would resume next year.
No fitness assessments for sailors for the remainder of the year could be a national security threat as the health of men and women serving in uniform is one that is deteriorating. We noted several years back, men and women serving are getting fatter at an alarming rate.
Overweight servicemen and women have prompted military officials to contemplate changing diets that would eventually mean banning pizza and beer for salads.
It's not just the military that has an obesity problem, but 1 in 5 recruits are "too fat to fight."
The virus pandemic has not just crashed the economy and unleashed a nuclear bomb on financial assets but has also forced people to stay cooped up in their homes for an extended period of time, resulting in a decline of physical fitness and weakened immune system. Couple that with a military that is "too fat to fight" with no more physical fitness assessments - was this all done by design so when the next military conflict breaks out, America will be unprepared?