NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The city’s former Veterans Affairs commissioner – a brigadier general in the military – says the calls from the governor and mayor for military assistance fighting the coronavirus is the right move.

Bring on the troops, call on the National Guard, reported CBS2’s Marcia Kramer.

Loree Sutton – General Sutton to some – says American men and women of the military are just what New York needs to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

“The military is accustomed to fighting wars,” Sutton told Kramer. “The military brings a robust set of capacities… we have the capacity to build hospitals, mobile laboratory testing.”

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Sutton, the city’s former Veterans Affairs commissioner, says it’s more than just skills and moving supplies, setting up facilities or caring for the sick on a hospital ship. It’s the can-do mindset acquired on the battlefield that suits military members to fight this new war.

“The military is trained to work in extremist conditions, life and death,” Sutton said. “Rather than tanks and mortars, the weapons of this war will be testing, treatment, hospital capacity, logistical support and community.”

“Because they’re used to adversity?” Kramer asked.

“They’re used to adversity. They understand at times like this, in extremis, leadership calls for competence, it calls for credibility, it calls for a clear picture of what the mission is,” Sutton said.


Sutton, who was the Army’s top psychiatrist, also has advice for coping with social distancing and the cabin fever many people are experiencing.

A lot has to do with the letter “c” – courage, community, commitment, and of course, coping with change.

“Change is constant, change is live,” Sutton said. “Change is to be embraced.”

Sutton, who was going to run for mayor to replace Mayor Bill de Blasio, says she’s willing to step aside from the campaign to contribute her expertise to help New York through this challenge.


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