Many NATO countries have resorted to the help of their militaries in order to cope with the raging coronavirus infection, such as the US, UK, France, Turkey, and Germany. Ironically, despite the supposed training to handle the consequences of using weapons of mass destruction, specifically biological weapons, some NATO militaries have failed to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
The US Defence Department has reported that at least 280 servicemen have contracted the virus since the start of the pandemic. The Pentagon didn't delve into the details about how this happened, claiming that this information could potentially give America's adversaries an idea about which US troops are currently the most vulnerable, but an earlier statement by General Tod Walters suggested that at least 35 US servicemen had contracted the virus while being deployed in the EU. However, the Pentagon spokesperson later said that the American military would stop providing any information on the number of COVID-infected servicemen - again citing security concerns.
Germany has so far been more transparent on the matter - on 26 March it reported that some 160 soldiers had been infected by the coronavirus, with the majority of them experiencing only mild symptoms of the disease. Again, it's unclear how the infections were contracted in the first place, but the German soldiers have started to take various measures to prevent the spread of the disease in their ranks, such as social distancing during drills, self-isolation of non-crucial personnel, and lockdowns.
Other NATO states have not yet reported COVID-19 infections in their armed forces, although the UK, France, and Turkey have also to various extents used military assistance to curb the outbreaks.
The situation in the German and American militaries is in stark contrast to the forces of nations that Washington has called potential "near-peer adversaries" - China and Russia. Neither of the two have reported infections in the ranks of their forces, although Beijing used its vast military capabilities to curtail the rampant infection, including in its suspected place of origin, Wuhan.
Russia, in turn, has gone as far as to send some of its chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) defence units to a NATO-member state - Italy, which ranks second in the world in terms of the number of people infected and leads when it comes to fatalities. Equipped with instruments for diagnostics and disinfection, Russia's CBRN forces are helping the worst-hit city, Bergamo in the Lombardy region, to curb the spread of the virus. They are also aided by a group of specialists consisting of epidemiologists and experts on viral diseases who have been trained to fight the consequences of the use of biological weapons and are more than capable of helping Italy with the COVID-19 outbreak.