Dozens of Secret Service agents who protect President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Trump reaches for optimism as weapon against Biden Five takeaways on GOP’s norm-breaking convention Trump taunts Democrats in White House speech: ‘We’re here and they’re not’ MORE and Vice President Pence have either contracted the coronavirus or were benched after coming in contact with people infected with COVID-19, according to a new report from The Washington Post.
Trump has pared down his appearances, veering away from the massive mega-rallies that characterized his 2016 campaign. But he’s still held many smaller events, including his GOP convention speech at the White House on Thursday before a crowd of about 1,500 where many of the attendees did not wear masks. Many of those at the speech were also not tested for COVID-19.
The events rebuff the advice of health officials who have advocated for widespread mask-wearing and the avoidance of large crowds.
The Secret Service did not clarify how many of its agents have contracted the coronavirus, but maintained it is working to provide all possible protections against the pandemic.
“The U.S. Secret Service continues to methodically assess the unique requirements necessary to operate in the ongoing pandemic environment. The agency takes all appropriate precautions to protect our workforce, our protectees, and the public from exposure to COVID-19,” a Secret Service spokesperson told The Hill. “Precautions include, but are not limited to: maintaining appropriate social distancing, the provision and use of PPE, routine testing when appropriate, whether before, during, or after official travel.
“To protect the privacy of our employees’ health information and for operational security, the Secret Service is not releasing how many of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19, nor how many of its employees were, or currently are, quarantined,” the spokesperson added.
When asked for comment regarding the Post’s story, the White House said it is taking all necessary health precautions and collaborates with the president’s physician when traveling out of Washington.
“The President takes the health and safety of everyone traveling in support of himself and all White House operations very seriously, as well as those dedicated to covering him and this Administration. When preparing for and carrying out any travel, White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office, to ensure plans incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible,” said White House spokesperson Judd Deere.