- The Washington Times - Friday, November 13, 2020

More than 130 Secret Service agents assigned to protect President Trump or the White House have been ordered to isolate after they tested positive for COVID-19 or came into close contact with someone who was infected, according to a media report Friday.

The spread of the highly contagious and deadly virus has sidelined roughly 10 percent of the agency’s core security team, The Washington Post reported.

Agents who have not been affected have been required to work longer hours and forgo off days to cover for their infected colleagues, the Post reported.

A Secret Service spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment from The Washington Times.

The infection rate is believed to be linked to the numerous campaign rallies Mr. Trump held before Election Day. In the last three days of the campaign, Mr. Trump held 14 different rallies.

Secret Service agents assigned to these rallies stand between the president and his supporters, some of whom are not wearing face masks or social distancing. The agents stand between the stage and supporters and also work the crowd looking for suspicious activities.

The report comes as a slew of administration officials also tested positive for COVID-19. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski have all been infected.

In the past month, Mr. Trump, first lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, also tested positive.

Democrats seized on the news, blaming Mr. Trump for the outbreak.

Valerie Jarrett, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, said of the report, “Putting the U.S. Secret Service and their families at needless risk is cruel and unconscionable.”

Rep. Don Beyer, Virginia Democrat, accused the president of showing “callous indifference” to the agents’ health and safety.

“Trump’s total disregard for the lives of his protectors, supporters and aides shows how dangerous his extreme selfishness has become,” Mr. Beyer said.

“The virus is spreading freely across the country, and Donald Trump has only made it worse by holding super-spreader rallies and events like the election night party, which appears to have infected several of his closest associates,” he continued. “Trump was warned repeatedly that failure to take precautions could threaten the safety of those around him, but as he makes clear every day, he is only capable of thinking about himself.”

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