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Politics Nearly 900 Secret Service agents got COVID-19, according to newly released government records

19:30  22 june  2021
19:30  22 june  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com

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a person in a suit standing in front of a crowd: Secret Service agents watch the crowd as President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally at the Ocala International Airport, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Ocala, Fla. Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photo © Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photo Secret Service agents watch the crowd as President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally at the Ocala International Airport, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Ocala, Fla. Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photo
  • 881 Secret Service agents got COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic, records show.
  • It's not clear who the agents were or whom they were assigned to protect.
  • But CREW, which obtained the records, emphasized the risks Trump placed on agents last year.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, 881 active Secret Service employees were diagnosed with the virus, according to government records obtained by CREW under the Freedom of Information Act.

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The nearly 900 Secret Service agents who contracted the virus from March 1, 2020 to March 9, 2021 included 477 Special Agents, 249 members of the Uniformed Division, 131 working in Administrative, Professional, Technical Positions, 12 Investigative Protection Officers, and 12 Technical Security Investigators.

Due to personal privacy reasons, the names of those who became infected were not included in the records. It's therefore also unclear who they were assigned to. The tally suggests at least 13% of the Secret Service's agents and personnel contracted the potentially lethal virus.

CREW, a nonprofit ethics watchdog based in Washington, DC, underscored that it's "impossible to overstate the risk the Trump administration put on Secret Service agents."

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Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence repeatedly held large-scale rallies during the pandemic when they were in office. An October 2020 study by Stanford University economists said Trump's campaign rallies "ultimately resulted in more than 30,000 incremental confirmed COVID-19 cases" and "likely led to more than 700 deaths."

The Trump family also took frequent trips to his properties, which required Secret Service protection.

As Trump faced criticism for flouting public health recommendations during the pandemic, reports emerged that dozens of Secret Service agents had contracted the virus.

After Trump tested positive for the virus last October, he drew widespread criticism for riding in a car with Secret Service agents while still being hospitalized for COVID-19 in order to stage a photo-op with his supporters.

Trump at the time temporarily left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in a presidential motorcade to wave at his supporters, and the vehicle he was in with Secret Service agents was bulletproof and airtight to protect against chemical attacks. The agents wore personal protective equipment and Trump wore a mask. Critics still said that Trump unnecessarily placed the agents at risk.

From the earliest days of the pandemic, Trump repeatedly downplayed the threat of COVID-19. Public health experts have said Trump's cavalier attitude towards the virus rippled through the country and was a large part of the reason the US was the epicenter of the pandemic for months. By the time Trump left office, there were more than 400,000 recorded deaths from COVID-19 in the US.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Secret Service’s Covid Caseload Totaled Nearly 900 Over a Year .
Almost 900 active U.S. secret service employees -- most of them responsible for protecting government officials and buildings -- were diagnosed with Covid-19 in the year ending in March. Special Agents, who protect the president, vice president, and their families, made up more than half of the 881 employees who were infected, according to government records obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The uniformed division, which guards the White House and other federal buildings, made up the next largest group of infections.

usr: 0
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