A Department of Health and Human Services whistleblower is sharing potentially scary and dangerous concerns about what happened when federal workers greeted the Americans evacuated from Wuhan, China that returned to the United States in the last week. The Washington Post is reporting that over a dozen workers met the evacuees "without proper training for infection control or appropriate protective gear."
Thus far, the workers do not show symptoms of infection and have not been treated for the virus. The whistleblower is seeking federal protection, claiming that she was "unfairly and improperly reassigned after raising concerns about the safety of these workers to HHS officials, including those within the office of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. She was told Feb. 19 that if she does not accept the new position in 15 days, which is March 5, she would be terminated." It is reported that the whistleblower has "decades" of experience in this field and has received two HHS awards from Azar in 2019. She has also received the "highest performance evaluations."
She filed her complaint with the Office of the Special Counsel on Wednesday. Her lawyer provided a copy of the full complaint to the Washington Post. In the complaint, it is alledged that HHS staff were “improperly deployed” and were “not properly trained or equipped to operate in a public health emergency situation.” Worse, the complaint alleges that workers were potentially exposed because "appropriate steps were not taken to protect them and staffers were not trained in wearing personal protective equipment, even though they had face-to-face contact with returning passengers."
After hearing of the compliant, HHS provided the following statement: “We take all whistleblower complaints very seriously and are providing the complainant all appropriate protections under the Whistleblower Protection Act. We are evaluating the complaint and have nothing further to add at this time."
Twitter had responses:
Chris Hayes (MSNBC) had a great thread on the timeline:
And now this shadiness about testing in California:
Thank you, Trump administration, for further f*cking this all up.