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New Pentagon chief signals focus on COVID-19 on first day

Lloyd Austin sworn in as Defense Secretary Friday
Defense Secretary Austin Arrives at Pentagon
Posted at 9:01 AM, Jan 26, 2021

ARLINGTON, Va. - New Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has taken over at the Pentagon, becoming the first Black Defense Secretary.

Austin, a retired Army General, was sworn in Friday following Senate confirmation.

Signaling a focus on combating the COVID-19 pandemic, Austin convened a meeting on his first day to be brought up to speed on the military's efforts.

That briefing was attended by Deputy Secretary David Norquist, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, Defense Secretary staff members, DOD COVID-19 Coordinator Max Rose, the acting service secretaries, the service military chiefs and combatant commanders.

In addition to the pandemic, Austin has signaled the importance of facing China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.