“I wouldn’t want any mixed messages going out there to any adversaries that they can take advantage of an opportunity, if you will, at a time of crisis,” he added.

“That would be a terrible and tragic mistake if they thought that.”

Unlike rivals Russia, China and Iran, the US Defense Department has tried to be transparent about the outbreak, publishing daily totals of infections among its troops, civilian workers and families…

Having initially given the location of cases, it now only offers broader totals, however, to avoid enemies knowing the points at which US forces might have been weakened.