More than 130 Secret Service officers in quarantine: report

More than 130 Secret Service officers are quarantining or isolating because of COVID-19 cases, according to a report Friday by The Washington Post.

The Post wrote that the agents who are in quarantine or isolating all either have the coronavirus or have been in contact with someone who tested positive. It cited three people familiar with staffing for the organization.

Worries that Secret Service agents protecting President Trump could get COVID-19 have increased as the number of cases in the White House have risen.

Trump himself tested positive for COVID-19 in October, as did first lady Melania Trump. The president came under criticism when, as he recuperated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, he drove by supporters outside the hospital while accompanied by agents. 

In a statement to The Hill, the agency said that it “successfully carried out its protective obligations associated with the presidential campaign while fulfilling its statutory protective responsibilities.” 

“The Secret Service maintains well-established protocols inclusive of testing, conducting contact tracing related to confirmed and suspected exposure, and immediately isolating of any employee who tests positive for COVID-19,” the agency said. “This program ensures that every precaution is taken to keep our protectees, employees, families, and the general public, safe and healthy.”

It did not confirm how many employees tested positive, nor how many are quarantined.

More White House staff and Trump allies have tested positive in recent days after an election party at the White House. Those testing positive include White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski, as well as Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and White House political director Brian Jack. 

The outbreak among the Secret Service is thought to be linked to Trump’s final blitz of campaign rallies, sources familiar with agency staffing told the Post. The president made five campaign stops on each of the last two days of the campaign. 

The president’s schedule on Nov. 2 required five separate groups of Secret Service officers of 20 to several dozen each, to travel with him to screen spectators and secure the perimeter around the events, according to the Post. That day, he went to Fayetteville, N.C.; Scranton, Pa.; Traverse City, Mich.; and Kenosha and Grand Rapids, Wis.

People generally were packed close together at Trump rallies, and while some people wore masks many did not. Trump has mocked the wearing of masks.

A government official told the Post that the agency is looking into whether some of the infections could be linked to the White House, where staff largely do not wear masks. Some Secret Service officers on duty there had been seen not wearing masks.  

Tags Ben Carson Corey Lewandowski Donald Trump Mark Meadows Melania Trump Secret Service

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