Multiple reports this week conveyed the rage of the Secret Service directed at their boss, President Donald Trump. Members of the service are reportedly angry that Trump has put them at risk throughout the coronavirus pandemic, leading to many infections in their ranks. Now that Trump himself and members of his political entourage are sick, Secret Service members are speaking out.
A watchdog group called the Project on Government Oversight first learned that at least 11 Secret Service members have now contracted COVID-19, all linked to a training facility in rural Maryland. The New York Times, which independently verified the claim, reported that the facility had conducted training sessions and a graduation ceremony with no social distancing or other necessary precautions. Around the same time, The Washington Post spoke to personal friends and family of Secret Service members, who told a similar story.
“Secret Service agents expressed their anger and frustration to colleagues and friends Friday, saying that the president’s actions have repeatedly put them at risk. “He’s never cared about us,” one agent told a confidant.” https://t.co/zP6RQpxdF2— Travis Akers (@travisakers) October 3, 2020
"He's never cared about us," one agent reportedly told their confidant, who in turn spoke to the Post. Former agents told reporters that it was previously unthinkable for an agent to complain about the president no matter what openly, but that Trump's handling of the pandemic has pushed the agency too far.
"This administration doesn't care about the Secret Service," a current agent said. "It's so obvious."
Agents reportedly feel that Trump continually puts them at extreme risk without thinking about it, or even considering more safe ways of operating. Furthermore, they claim that coronavirus safety measures around Trump have dropped off sharply since late August. Those that travel with Trump to rallies say that they are no longer routinely tested when they return home from crowded events.
White House spokesman Judd Deere refuted these stories when contacted by reporters. He said: "The president takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously." He added that different staffs within the capital work together to "ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure."
Trump is now hospitalized in Walter Reed Military Medical Center with COVID-19, having been treated with supplemental oxygen, experimental therapies and other medications. His doctors gave a press conference on Sunday morning, saying that he could be discharged "as early as" Monday. However, those doctors have come under extreme scrutiny for sharing misinformation in the previous days.