NEW JERSEY (CBS) — A New Jersey Army National Guardsman has died from the coronavirus, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Monday. Capt. Douglas Linn Hickok is the first United States military member to die from COVID-19.
Capt. Hickok served as a physician’s assistant after several years as an emergency room doctor.
The Jackson, New Jersey native had been living in Pennsylvania and passed away in a hospital on Saturday.
It is unknown if Hickok contracted the virus while serving in a medical capacity.
“Capt. Hickok is prominent in our thoughts, as is every New Jerseyan we have lost. Each of their lives was precious and I know their memories will be precious and I hope they are a source of strength for their friends and family at this time,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.
“Today is a sad day for the Department of Defense as we have lost our first American service member – active, reserve or Guard – to Coronavirus,” said Defense Secretary Mark Esper. “This is a stinging loss for our military community, and our condolences go out to his family, friends, civilian co-workers and the entire National Guard community. The news of this loss strengthens our resolve to work ever more closely with our interagency partners to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
There are currently nearly 19,000 cases in the state with 267 deaths.