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Report: 881 Secret Service employees contracted COVID-19

By
Zarrin Ahmed
Members of U.S. Secret Service carry riot shields on a driveway at the White House in April. Recent information shows that 881 Secret Service agents contracted COVID-19 during the pandemic. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI
Members of U.S. Secret Service carry riot shields on a driveway at the White House in April. Recent information shows that 881 Secret Service agents contracted COVID-19 during the pandemic. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

June 22 (UPI) -- Records show that 881 U.S. Secret Service employees tested positive for COVID-19 between March 1, 2020, and March 9, 2021, according to documents obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The group requested the information through the Freedom of Information Act. Though the list didn't include names or assignments, it showed that 477 of those employees worked in the special agent division. The branch is responsible for the safety and security of the president, vice president, their families, and other government officials.

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According to the documents, 249 agents were members of the Uniformed Division, 131 were working in administrative, professional, technical positions, 12 were investigative protection officers and 12 were technical security investigators.

Former President Donald Trump and then-first lady Melania Trump both tested positive for the virus in October. Dozens of people who attended Trump-led events before his diagnosis and leaders connected to the White House also tested positive for COVID-19 in the same week.

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CREW noted that Trump held large-scale rallies despite public health guidelines throughout the pandemic, and that there were reports of the Secret Service struggling with coronavirus cases.

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"The number is far greater than had previously been known," CREW wrote in a statement.

Though the number of Secret Service agents was withheld, CREW uncovered costs associated with Secret Service protection. The organization said former Vice President Mike Pence took a ski trip to Vail, Colo., when the virus hit its peak in December, costing taxpayers $750,000 strictly for security detail and putting 48 agents at risk.

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"With the pandemic raging during the campaign, Trump appeared to be deliberately putting the lives of Secret Service agents at risk in order to portray himself as tougher than the coronavirus," CREW wrote.

The Trump family also took numerous trips to Trump properties throughout the lockdown, stretching the agency thin, they reported, noting that the Trump family was taking 12 times more protected trips than the Obama family did.

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