The comment was met with jeers and expletives from the military audience aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier once commanded by Captain Brett Crozier.
"As an interim measure, all individuals are encouraged to fashion face coverings from household items or common materials, such as clean T-shirts or other clean cloths that can cover the nose and mouth area," the Pentagon said.
A senior administration official told Newsweek that the drug trade "can contribute to the spread of the virus," but a senior Pentagon official said the recent mission "has nothing to do with the virus."
The United States has already strained its relationship with Iraq in a bid to pressure Iran, but the COVID-19 pandemic presents a new factor for potential miscalculation among rivals.
China and Russia are using the coronavirus pandemic to position themselves as world leaders while the United States turns its focus to domestic matters to battle the infectious disease.
The head of the Saudi-led coalition said "legitimate military targets" struck included Houthi ballistic missile sites and positions where Iran's Revolutionary Guard experts operated.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said the leader and several close aides would be placed in temporary quarantine after his adviser on parliamentary affairs tested positive for COVID-19.
The Pentagon counts 2,445 U.S. casualties as a result of the war in Afghanistan, a figure recently exceeded by those killed domestically by COVID-19.
Just over 20 countries have yet to record a single COVID-19 coronavirus case, most in the relatively lightly-afflicted continent of Africa and isolated Pacific island states, but also others much closer to major outbreaks.
Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said multinational action is required to rebalance the coronavirus-striken world economy.
While the United States and the Soviet Union banded together in World War II, experts say the U.S. and China's economic superpower rivalry runs too deep for them to cooperate against the new coronavirus.
"At this crucial time, both for global public health reasons, and to support the rights and lives of millions of people in these countries, sectoral sanctions should be eased or suspended," the U.N.'s human rights chief said.
"The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
Afghanistan will free 100 Taliban prisoners "on humanitarian grounds—including health, age and vulnerability to COVID19," but new ISIS-claimed violence threatens to upend a delicate peace process.
"Believe me, the safest thing now is to be at home," Russian President Vladimir Putin said, declaring a week-long national holiday from March 28 to April 5.
Cuban Medical Brigades have deployed to dozens of countries around the world, providing life-saving personnel and products such as Interferon Alpha-2B Recombinant to battle the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Beijing and Tehran have issued statement supporting one another and maligning the U.S. as all three nations battle COVID-19.
"As of Mar. 19 all the foreigners in quarantine, except three, were freed as it has been confirmed that they had showed no abnormal symptoms during sufficient medical observation and checkup," according to the official Korean Central News Agency.
"It was like, 'oh s--- we got struck,'" one U.S. service member said. "We had to take our posture and then, we're watching Al Jazeera on the news 10 minutes later and...it wasn't what we thought it was."
The U.S. Navy and Army jointly conducted a flight experiment of what was revealed to be "a common hypersonic glide body (C-HGB), which flew at hypersonic speed to a designated impact point."
Iraqi militia Usbat al-Thayireen warned President Donald Trump and U.S. forces "to leave vertically before we force them to leave horizontally."
"It's not that we're happy about America's inability," Iranian Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi said. "As a Muslim country, we are not happy about anyone's illness."
The U.S. top negotiator in Afghanistan said that COVID-19 "makes prisoner releases urgent" as the Taliban's spokesperson urged "world's humanitarian and health organizations to pay special attention" to their plight.
WHO recommends that new infectious diseases not be associated with geographic locations; people's names, a species/class of animal or food; cultural, population, industry or occupational references or terms that incite undue fear.
Two more rockets were fired near Iraq's capital of Baghdad as the country braces for an escalation in the battle among U.S. troops and Shiite Muslim militias, with the threat of ISIS still looming.
"The government of Iraq expresses its condemnation, in the strongest possible terms, of those heinous American attacks and aggressions that violate the sovereignty of Iraq that violate international law," the letter said.
The U.S.-led coalition told Newsweek it "is re-positioning troops from a few smaller bases" in Iraq, where violence involving U.S. troops, militiamen and militants has recently escalated.
"You did not take out leaders, you did not take out depots, you took out average joes," an Iraqi official told Newsweek in the wake of deadly U.S. strikes met with outrage.
Iraq's military said U.S. strikes "targeted the Iraqi military establishment and violate the principle of partnership and alliance between the Iraqi security forces and the parties that planned and carried out this treacherous attack."
The United States and its allies have canceled, postponed and modified joint exercises around the world as the new coronavirus pandemic continued to grip the international community.