The Justice Department said Thursday that Roger Stone should report to prison next week as ordered by his sentencing judge despite his concerns about the deadly novel coronavirus.

Stone, a longtime friend and confidant of President Trump, has asked a federal appeals court in the District to extend to Sept. 3 the date on which he must surrender to a federal prison in Jesup, Ga., to begin serving a 40-month prison sentence for lying in a congressional investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit gave Stone until Friday to respond to the government. The three-judge panel reviewing his request is made up of Judges David S. Tatel, Thomas B. Griffith and Patricia A. Millett.

U.S. prosecutors in a court filing acknowledged that they did not oppose Stone’s initial request last month to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson for a delay, citing Justice Department policy during the pandemic to grant up to a 60-day extension of surrender dates upon defendants’ request.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney David B. Goodhand of Washington wrote in filings to the appeals court Thursday that Jackson’s “independent decision to extend [Stone’s] self-surrender date for 14 days is a reasonable exercise of that court’s discretion,” under the circumstances, particularly given that Stone was convicted of threatening a witness and failed to comply with earlier court conditions of release.

Stone was the last person charged in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. He was convicted in November and sentenced to 40 months in prison on charges of lying and witness tampering in the congressional investigation.

Jackson in late June granted Stone a two-week delay in his reporting date but ordered him to surrender July 14. She said in her order that there are no confirmed cases of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, at the minimum-security facility Stone is assigned to and noted that he had threatened a witness and sought to intimidate jurors, the court and individuals during the investigation.

The filing came one day after an interview in which Attorney General William P. Barr defended Stone’s prosecution and prison sentence.

“I think the prosecution was righteous and I think the sentence the judge ultimately gave was fair,” Barr told ABC News.

Prosecutors have opposed other prisoners’ requests for compassionate release during the pandemic — including older prisoners such as Stone — citing the absence of coronavirus cases at the facilities where they are housed, Jackson said in her opinion.

“At the end of the day, the guiding principle must be that Mr. Stone is entitled to no more and no less consideration than any other similarly situated convicted felon,” the judge wrote.

The case against Stone stemmed from his September 2017 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. The jury found that Stone tried to conceal his central role in the 2016 Trump campaign’s efforts to learn about Democratic computer files hacked by Russia and made public by WikiLeaks to damage Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Facebook on Wednesday announced that it took down a network of more than 100 pages and accounts affiliated with Stone for “coordinated inauthentic behavior” dating to 2015. The company said the accounts were particularly active in deceptively manipulating public debate during 2016 and 2017.