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NBC News: Trump Wants Troops Out Of Afghanistan Due To COVID-19

NBC News reports President Trump asks "almost daily" about withdrawing due to concerns about COVID-19.
Posted at 6:36 PM, Apr 27, 2020

President Donald Trump is reportedly urging his advisers to pull U.S. troops from Afghanistan over fears that a coronavirus outbreak in the country is near.

On Monday, NBC News reported that the president asks "almost daily" about removing troops from Afghanistan. The outlet cites three unnamed current and former U.S. officials.

There are just over 1,700 confirmed coronavirus cases in Afghanistan and 57 deaths. But officials fear there are actually as many as 10 times that number of cases that have gone unreported due to a lack of testing. The country has a population of 36 million and shares a border with Iran, which the virus has hit hard.

Officials say the U.S. had originally planned to decrease its force level in Afghanistan from more than 12,000 troops to around 8,600 by mid-July. They said the number of troops has been decreasing faster than anticipated.

Two senior government officials told NBC that despite talks of withdrawal, U.S. troops may just be consolidated in a few Afghan bases.