The United States Secret Service have an incredible responsiblity - protecting the President and his family. You would think that Donald Trump would appreciate their dedication and work to limit their unnecessary exposure to risk, right? Well, in Donald Trump's world the only person that matters is him. Even though there is a raging pandemic in America, with nearly 6 million infected and 180,000 dead, he is still golfing weekly, and holding rallies and fundraisers with unmasked guests, fans and donors.
This is putting the United States Secret Service agents in the line of fire -- of a virus. Rolling Stone reports that these selfish decisions by Donald Trump and his family means that “dozens of Secret Service agents have contracted the virus or have been quarantined in the last two months after being exposed while planning security for Republican political rallies or accompanying the president, often in states with out-of-control outbreaks like Florida."
Just take that in. These brave men and women put their lives on the line every day, taking a job that requires them to literally take a bullet to protect the President from any attack. And he repays them by putting THEM at risk - unecessarily - every single day.
Ned Price, a former CIA analyst, told the Washington Post:
“Never before has the Secret Service run up against a president so intent on putting himself first regardless of the costs, including to those around him. And by maintaining a rigorous travel schedule and otherwise flouting public health guidance, he is demanding that agents add to their already considerable professional risk in ways that are qualitatively different than what they signed up for.”
There have been numerous incidents where agents either got COVID or were exposed. Five agents were exposed and one tested positive at Trump's July rally in Tampa, Florida. Two more agents showed symptoms after protecting Trump while he golfed in Bedminster. And at the infamous Tulsa rally, which led to Herman Cain's death from COVID, 6 "advance staff" and 2 agents got COVID as well, forcing dozens of agents into quarantine.
Trump is not alone in terms of exposing Secret Service agents to COVID, though. Vice President Mike Pence's trip to Phoenix also exposed 8 agents to COVID, with many becoming symptomatic. This led to all of them being quarantined in a hotel in Phoenix.
Agents guarding Trump and Pence follow a strict code of silence, so it is shocking that this leaked to the press. A law enforcement official told the Post that agents quarding them were "warned not to speak about co-workers who caught the virus for fear of angering Trump."
A United States Secret Service spokeperson provided a statement to the Post:
“The agency takes all appropriate precautions to protect our workforce, our protectees, and the public from exposure to COVID-19… 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.”
It is obvious that these actions alone are useless when the person they are tasked with protecting is intentionally exposing them to the virus in unsafe situations where they are in close proximity to unmasked, untested and unhealthy people.