Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley put drug cartels on notice if they are going to try to take advantage of the Wuhan coronavirus crisis within the United States during the White House press briefing on Wednesday.
Milley said the Department of Defense has received intelligence reports that the cartels will try to import large amounts of drugs and other contraband while law enforcement is more focused on coronavirus matters.
"We came upon some intelligence some time ago that the drug cartels as a result of COVID-19 were going to try to take advantage of the situation and try to infiltrate additional drugs into our country. Seven thousand Americans die on an average annual basis to drugs. That’s unacceptable. We’re at war with COVID-19. We’re at war with terrorists, and we are at war with the drug cartels as well," Milley said.
"This is the United States military. You will not penetrate this country. You will not get past jump street. You are not going to come in here and kill additional Americans. We will marshal whatever assets are required to prevent your entry into this country to kill Americans," he continued.
President Trump announced at the press conference that the U.S. Navy is carrying out more anti-drug trafficking operations in South America to hinder cartels' efforts.
Hey bad guys, we will find you.#USNavy Sailors and @USCG Coast Guardsmen assigned to #USSDetroit (LCS 7) conduct rigid-hull inflatable boat ops. Detroit is deployed to @Southcom combating counter-illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific Ocean. pic.twitter.com/JxzpngFmMJ— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) April 1, 2020
#COVID19 will not stop the @DeptofDefense from protecting the American people from illegal drugs. At the direction of the @POTUS, additional U.S. ships, aircraft, and security forces are underway to disrupt narcotics trafficking. pic.twitter.com/BFTbxqcFGn— @EsperDoD (@EsperDoD) April 1, 2020
"The bottom line is you’re not going to get through. Now is not the time to try to penetrate the United States of illegal drugs to kill Americans. With the United States military, we will defend our country regardless of the cost," Milley said.