Members of the Secret Service are speaking out following President Donald Trump's motorcade event over the weekend. Shortly after the president broke quarantine by leaving Walter Reed Medical Center, where he was hospitalized Friday after testing positive for the coronavirus, current and former agents voiced their disapproval of the trip, which many have argued was unnecessary and put other people's health at risk.
Speaking to CNN, one agent dubbed the trip "simply reckless," with another telling The Washington Post that the president is "not even pretending to care now." Many of the agents spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution, with one candidly asking, "Where are the adults?" Another said that "you can't say no."
"That should never have happened," a current agent, who works on the first family's personal detail, told CNN. "I mean, I wouldn't want to be around them. The frustration with how we're treated when it comes to decisions on this illness goes back before this though. We're not disposable."
During the event, which had been teased only moments prior via a video shared the Trump's Twitter account in which he said there would be "a little surprise to some of the great patriots" who were waiting outside the hospital, the president was seen sitting in the backseat of the vehicle wearing a cloth face mask. Secret Service members in the car with him, meanwhile, appeared to be wearing N95 masks. Although face coverings have been recommended to slow the spread of the virus, Dr. James Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed Medical Center, noted that the presidential SUV is "hermetically sealed against chemical attack," and therefore "the risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures." He said taking part in the motorcade unnecessarily put lives at risk, and "every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential 'drive-by' just now has to be quarantined for 14 days."
The White House, however, has pushed back against claims that the event was negligent, with White House spokesman Judd Deere telling reporters appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the president and all those supporting it." He also clarified that the trip "was cleared by the medical team as safe to do."
In a statement to PEOPLE, meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Secret Service said that the agency "will continue to follow established protocols to ensure the safety of our employees." That statement added that the Secret Service doesn't discuss details about its work.