Secret Service slam Trump’s motorcade ride, potential exposure: ‘We’re not disposable’
In August, 11 staffers at the Secret Service's training center in Maryland tested positive, news disclosed on Friday.
Members of President Donald Trump’s Secret Service detail have expressed concern about his impromptu trip to wave at supporters outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday.
“That should never have happened,” one current Secret Service agent working on the presidential and First Family detail said after Trump’s drive-by, adding that his colleagues who went along for the ride would now be required to quarantine.
“I mean, I wouldn’t want to be around them,” the agent said to CNN under the condition of anonymity. “The frustration with how we’re treated when it comes to decisions on this illness goes back before this, though. We’re not disposable.”
Dozens of Secret Service agents were told to self-quarantine in June following a Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma after two agents tested positive for the virus.
In July, eight agents assigned to Vice President Mike Pence tested positive.
In August, 11 people at the U.S. Secret Service training center in Maryland tested positive, news that just came to light Friday.
“Throughout the pandemic, the U.S. Secret Service has taken significant precautions at its training center to protect the health and welfare of its trainees and training staff,” Julia McMurray, a spokeswoman for the agency, told The New York Times.
Late Sunday afternoon, Trump ventured outside of Walter Reed, where he is convalescing after being diagnosed with COVID-19 and experienced symptoms requiring treatment, including I.V. doses of remdesivir. The president tweeted out a video message, saying that he had a “surprise,” and moments later, he was in a SUV motorcade seen waving to supporters who had lined the streets outside of the medical center.
Trump was wearing a mask, while Secret Service agents also in his vehicle were seen in respirator masks, medical gowns and face shields.
Rick Nelson, a former official on the National Security Council, explained to the Times that the risk for exposure is heightened for Secret Service agents. “They’re at higher risk than the general public because they can’t do their job if they’re social distancing,” he said.