One of Poland’s top generals, General Jarosław Mika, has reportedly fallen ill with coronavirus after partaking in a NATO command meeting this week, according to the Polish Defense Ministry.
Gen. Mika is the general commander of Polish Armed Forces and is one of the central European country’s top commanders. The spokesman said his illness had not caused any disruption for the army. Gen. Mika fell ill with the virus after taking part in a conference on strategic communication involving the Defender-Europe 2020 U.S. army deployment exercises on March 6 in Wiesbaden.
The U.S. Army also said the commander of U.S. Army Europe, Lieutenant Christopher Cavoli, may have been exposed to coronavirus along with several staff member during the same conference
The Polish Army general and former commander of the Polish special unit “Grom”, General Roman Polko, believes that the information about Gen. Mika being infected by the coronavirus should not have been released to the public.
In the interview for Do Rzeczy, Gen. Polko said that the military should have procedures which would enable containment of such crises, and the appropriate staff should take over duties for those who have fallen ill without causing a sensation.
General Polko said that he initially had refused to comment on the condition of Gen. Mika before the coronavirus infection was confirmed through other sources.
Defender Europe 2020 and coronavirus
Gen. Polko added that the Defender 2020 exercises have just started in Poland and other European countries, and they will also serve as an opportunity to train certain units in case of a biological threat.
He underlined that the Defender 20202 military exercises should continue and that this is an opportunity to check the entire chain of command to make sure that an absent commander, in this case Gen. Mika, can be efficiently replaced.
“I believe that there is no greater threat to security, which does not mean that information concerning the illness of one general or the other should be released out into the world,” Gen. Polko said.
He also referred to theories that the coronavirus epidemic was released intentionally and is a kind of biological weapon, saying, “I believe that this was an accident” but did not elaborate further.
Gen. Polko stressed, however, that a standard in the army is to be cautious and flexible, which means not adhering to any single line of training and being able to adapt to new situations.