Nearly 900 Secret Service employees were infected with the virus, a watchdog group finds.



The trials of defending a president, a vice chairman and their households in an election 12 months amid a pandemic positioned a heavy burden on the Secret Service, with practically 900 workers testing constructive for the coronavirus, a watchdog group stated this week.

The group, the Residents for Accountability and Ethics in Washington, faulted former President Donald J. Trump for persevering with to carry massive marketing campaign rallies, which it stated had contributed to the infections.

It obtained the Secret Service information from the federal authorities as a part of a public information request below the Freedom of Data Act. The instances have been recorded from March 2020 to March of this 12 months, in line with the group, however the information didn’t embody particulars of the assignments of the agent Ts who have been contaminated. The federal government additionally didn’t disclose what proportion of the full variety of Secret Service workers had contracted the virus.

The staff who examined constructive included 477 particular brokers, 249 members of the uniformed division and 131 employees members working in administrative, skilled and technical positions, in line with the group. The Secret Service is the principle federal legislation enforcement company charged with defending U.S. political leaders, together with the president, and the households.

“All through the pandemic, then-President and Vice President Trump and Pence held large-scale rallies in opposition to public well being tips, and Trump and his household made repeated protected journeys to Trump-branded properties which the then-president was making thousands and thousands of {dollars} a 12 months from,” the group stated on Tuesday in a submit on its web site. The group additionally blamed the previous president for driving in a car with Secret Service safety

whereas he was below remedy for a coronavirus an infection final October, “additional placing brokers in peril,” it stated.

Representatives for Mr. Trump didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Wednesday evening.

A spokeswoman for the Secret Service stated in an emailed assertion on Wednesday that the company had distributed masks, gloves and different protecting gear to workers and carried out a strong virus-testing program. She added that the company’s mission “required important public interplay throughout a public well being disaster” and that it “was absolutely ready and staffed to efficiently meet these challenges.”

Final November, the Secret Service’s uniformed-officer division skilled a coronavirus outbreak, in line with a number of individuals who have been briefed on the matter on the time. The outbreak was not less than the fourth to strike the company because the pandemic started, with not less than 30 uniformed Secret Service officers testing constructive for the virus over a number of weeks. About 60 officers had been requested by the company to enter quarantine.

Within the remaining months of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the virus permeated the West Wing. A number of of his high aides examined constructive, together with Hope Hicks, his adviser; Kayleigh McEnany, the White Home press secretary; and two of Ms. McEnany’s deputies, Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt.


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