Boston brings on retired four-star Gen. Stanley McChrystal to help with pandemic response
By SEAN PHILIP COTTER | Boston Herald | Published: March 24, 2020
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BOSTON (Tribune News Service) — Mayor Martin Walsh is bringing on the firm run by retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal to oversee the city’s emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic as cases rise in the city, where a second person has died from the disease.
“For the next two months, the specialized team at the McChrystal Group will focus on supporting our work and the effectiveness of our response in Boston,” Walsh told reporters on Monday. “That will include the coordination of our agencies, integrating our response plans, and ensuring effective and transparent communication of those plans to all of our residents. We expect that work to be done with urgency.”
McChrystal is a retired four-star Army general who is best known for leading the Joint Special Operations Command in the 2000s and commanding the U.S. forces in Afghanistan before resigning after being quoted criticizing civilian leadership. Walsh said McChrystal and company will look at areas like food delivery and prevention measures to contain any possible future outbreak of COVID-19 among the homeless. Walsh said that right now there are no known coronavirus cases among Boston’s homeless population.
Walsh announced that 133 people in Boston have tested positive for COVID-19, up from 116 on Sunday. Fifteen of those have recovered, up from 13 on Sunday. Recovery means that the person who had tested positive has now tested negative twice.
Walsh announced that a second Bostonian has died of the disease, an announcement coming a day after the announcement of Boston’s first death. In total, nine people in Massachusetts have died from the rapidly spreading coronavirus, for which 777 people have now tested positive statewide.
Walsh spoke at a news conference on Monday outside of City Hall as he has most days since the coronavirus crisis began to ramp up. This came just a few hours after Gov. Charlie Baker ordered people to stay home, and all nonessential businesses to be closed.
Asked if the move goes far enough, Walsh said, “The order really depends now if we practice it.”
Officials continue to ask that people stay home and say that people should wash their hands often and avoid touching their faces. Baker’s latest move now limits gatherings to 10 people.
Walsh already has ordered nonessential construction to shut down in the city as the coronavirus spreads. He said the Boston Resiliency Fund, which he started last week to funnel donations to local nonprofits, has raised more than $17 million from local donors.