130 Secret Service officers are in COVID quarantine after testing positive or being exposed while guarding Donald Trump – including at mask-free rallies and White House’s Election Night superspreader party
- More than 130 Secret Service agents who protect President Donald Trump, the White House and the first family are isolating because of COVID
- Either the agents have it or have been exposed to someone who has
- That has put more than 10 per cent of agents out of commission
- Washington Post reports agents were infected at campaign rallies or while on duty at the White House
More than 130 Secret Service agents who protect President Donald Trump, the White House and the first family have been ordered to isolate because they caught COVID or were in close contact with someone who was infected with the virus.
The spread of the highly contagious disease has sidelined about 10 per cent of the agency’s core team, The Washington Post reported, and the infection rate is believed to be linked to the numerous campaign rallies Trump held before the election – 14 in the last three days of campaigning alone.
At these rallies, agents stand between the president and his supporters, many of whom are not wearing face masks and who don’t practice social distancing. While Trump stands on a stage above and away from the crowd, several agents stand in the pit between the stage area and supporters. They also fan out to work the perimeter.
More than 130 Secret Service agents who protect President Donald Trump, the White House and the first family are isolating because of COVID – above agents at Trump’s October 29 rally in Tampa, Florida
A Secret Service agent with President Trump at his November 1 campaign rally in Washington, Michigan
About 1,300 agents are part of the division that guard the White House and vice presidential residence
Coronavirus cases have been on the rise across the United States, with over 100,000 people a day being infected.
The agents are seeing a rise in infections after a recent outbreak at the White House in the wake of an election night event attended by hundreds of unmasked Trump supporters.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, top Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and David Bossie, the man leading Trump’s legal fight against the election, were among those at the election night event who later tested positive for COVID.
The Secret Service is examining whether the infections are travel related or trace back to the White House, where many agents work, an official told The Post.
White House staff, for the most part, do not wear face masks. People who come in close contact with President Trump are tested for COVID.
The Secret Service has about 1,300 officers in its Uniformed Division to guard the White House and the vice president’s residence. Many also travel for presidential events – such as his campaign rallies.
Secret Service Agents stand near President Donald Trump during a campaign event at La Crosse Speedway in West Salem, Wisconsin on October 27
Members of a Secret Service counter assault team arrive before President Donald Trump for a Make America Great Again rally in Hickory, North Carolina, on November 1
Secret Service wait for President Donald J. Trump to enter during a campaign visit to Michigan Stars Sports Center in Washington, Michigan, on November 1
The agency has been stretched thin by the demands of guarding Trump, his large family of adult children who are scattered around the country, and President-elect Joe Biden.
More than a dozen White House aides have tested positive for COVID in the past week, including a range of low-level assistants and secretaries, officials told The Post.
Among those who attended the election night event and later tested positive include the White House political director and a friend of Rudy Giuliani’s.
Healy Baumgardner, a former Trump aide on his 2016 campaign, who was at the White House on election night as a guest of Giuliani, has the virus, Bloomberg News reported.
Baumgardner told NBC News she tested positive on Wednesday.
Additionally White House political director Brian Jack, who was also at the election night event, tested positive as did one other White House staffer but it’s unclear if that person was at the election night festivities, The New York Times reported.
As election returns came in, several hundred people gathered in the state floor of the White House to watch the results, eat hot dogs and french fries, and wait to cheer on President Trump, who later came down from the residence to address them.
Several guests at President Trump’s election night event at the White House later tested positive for COVID
Most did not wear face masks although the White House has said guests were given COVID tests before the event.
In addition to those mentioned, five other White House and and a Trump campaign staffer have tested positive for the virus but it’s unclear if all were at the White House on election night.
And at least eight staffers at the Republican National Committee, including Chief of Staff Richard Walters, have COVID.
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