Over 130 Secret Service Agents Who Protect Trump Are Quarantining Due To COVID-19
This is, in part, due to his campaign rallies in the weeks leading up to the election
More than 130 Secret Service officers have been ordered to isolate or quarantine after testing positive for the coronavirus or being in close contact with infected co-workers, according to The Washington Post.
Coronavirus has now taken roughly ten percent of the agency’s core security team out of rotation and is being said to be linked to a series of campaign rallies that Trump held in the weeks before the election. The Secret Service employs roughly 1,300 officers in its Uniformed Division to guard the White House as well as Vice President Pence’s residence.
Trump made campaign stops in four states during the last two days, requiring five separate groups of Secret Service officers to travel with him to Fayetteville, N.C.; Scranton, Pa.; Traverse City and Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Kenosha, Wis. As with many Trump rallies, masks were not required and rarely worn.
Additionally, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and political advisers Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie have also tested positive.
The outbreak comes as coronavirus cases are spiking in record numbers across the nation. The country reported more than 153,400 new cases on Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 67,000 people are hospitalized, more than at any other point during the pandemic.
While some, including Trump, have continued to say that increased testing is the cause for the rise in infection rates, the data doesn’t support that narrative. The seven-day average of new tests on Thursday was over 1.4 million, up by about 8.3 percent compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of COVID Tracking Project data. “The rise in cases far outpaces that, with a week-over-week rise of more than 32 percent, on an average weekly basis.”
“Being down more than 100 officers is very problematic,” said one former senior Secret Service supervisor. “That does not bode well for White House security.”
It’s not the first time the Secret Service has been hit hard by the decisions of Trump and Vice President Pence to travel during the pandemic. This summer, dozens of Secret Service agents fell ill or were sidelined and forced to quarantine in the wake of the president’s massive indoor stadium rally in Tulsa in June and the vice president’s subsequent trip to Arizona.
Additionally, a Stanford study showed 30,000 coronavirus cases and 700 deaths have been linked to Trump rallies held earlier this year.
“The CDC has advised that large in-person events, particularly in settings where participants do not wear masks or practice social distancing, pose a substantial risk of further contagion (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). There is reason to fear that such gatherings can serve as ‘superspreader events,’ severely undermining efforts to control the pandemic (Dave et al., 2020). The purpose of this study is to shed light on these issues by studying the impact of election rallies held by President Donald Trump’s campaign,” the study stated.
Luckily, we have a President-Elect who has already formed a Coronavirus Task Force with actual scientists to help us out of this mess.
Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.