Multiple Secret Service agents tasked with planning Vice President Pence’s trip to Arizona this week were reportedly removed from the trip after showing signs of coronavirus infection, sources with knowledge of the situation told The Washington Post.
As many as 10 Secret Service and other law enforcement agents working on the trip were replaced after showing symptoms of the virus, and at least one tested positive for the disease two senior administration officials, speaking on terms of anonymity, told the newspaper.
A USSS spokesperson declined to confirm that any agents were removed from the trip over COVID-19 concerns, and told The Hill in an email that the agency “continues to operate in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations through the U.S. Secret Service Office of Safety, Health and Environmental Programs (SAF).”
“The health and safety of our workforce, their families, and that of our protectees remains the agency’s highest priority,” they added.
A spokesperson for the vice president, Devin O’Malley, also declined to confirm the agents’ removal and slammed the Post in a statement to the newspaper for covering the story.
“Instead of highlighting Vice President Pence’s concerted effort with Task Force members to visit and support states with new cases, The Washington Post is choosing to use its pages to report on a story of little use to every day Americans attempting to learn more about how coronavirus affects them or the Administration’s response efforts,” O’Malley said.
Pence arrived in Arizona on Wednesday along with other top administration officials with the White House’s coronavirus task force as part of a trip to view the areas hardest-hit by the virus.
Confirmed coronavirus cases have surged in many states across the country, slamming states such as Arizona, Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Oklahoma.
Florida on Wednesday recorded over 10,000 new coronavirus cases, a record one-day high since the beginning of the pandemic.
Pence said that the recent surge in Arizona prompted his visit to the Grand Canyon state.
“Well, the rising cases here in Arizona is why I’m here. It’s why we brought the White House Coronavirus Task Force here,” Pence said in Phoenix, according to the Post. “I’m a real believer, as President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on ‘incentives’ to attack US troops MORE is, in — in sitting down with the people that are leading the effort.”