Dozens of Secret Service agents to self-quarantine after rally

Dozens of Secret Service agents will be quarantined after Trump’s Tulsa rally

The quarantine mass has led to the decision that Secret Service agents involved with presidential trips must be tested for coronavirus for the next couple of weeks, according to an email sent to agency staff. The email sent out Wednesday was confirmed by law enforcement official. Agents must now be tested 24 to 48 hours before a presidential trip, the email said. The new testing mandate will be in place until July 4.

Law enforcement officials said the number of quarantined agents was on the “low” side of dozens. A Secret Service official said the quarantining would not impact the agency’s operations. The news was first reported by The Washington Post.

Asked about the decision to test all agents on presidential trips for coronavirus, the Secret Service official said protecting agency personnel was critical during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We want to make sure that we have a healthy workforce and that we are protecting our people,” the official said. “This is a good common sense.”

A U.S. Secret Service source who worked in advance for Saturday’s rally and is now quarantining told CNN that agents from Dallas and Houston worked the event as well, and they were warned before the trip from those field offices that they would need quarantine when they got there. home.

The steps come after two Secret Service agents who attended a positive test rally for coronavirus, a person familiar with the matter previously told CNN.

“The US Secret Service remains prepared and staffed to perform all of the various duties required. Any implication that the agency is in some way unprepared or incapable of executing our mission would be inaccurate,” U.S. Secret Service spokeswoman Catherine Milhoan told CNN in a. statement Wednesday evening.

“To protect the privacy of our employees’ health information and for security operations, the Secret Service is not releasing how many of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19, or how many of its employees were, or are currently, quarantined,” he said. she continued.

Still, news of the quarantined Secret Service staff will heighten the scrutiny of the Tulsa rally, which has already been intensely watched after the Trump campaign announced that some advance team personnel who worked on the event had tested positive for the virus.

Attendees at the rally were not required to wear masks or social distancing practices, despite administration of top public health officials stressing the importance of both measures in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Many administration officials at the rally did not wear masks, though campaign manager Brad Parscale was seen in one.

Those attending the rally had agreed not to sue the campaign if they contracted coronavirus, acknowledging the “inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present.”

“By attending the Rally, you and any of the guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury, ‚ÄĚread the disclaimer to which attendees indicate.

Ultimately, just fewer than 6,200 people attended the rally, according to the Tulsa Fire Department. Plans for a speech overflow were canceled as fewer than 25 people had gathered in the area where it was meant to occur. Trump had once predicted 20,000 people in the arena with an additional 40,000 outside.

CNN’s Kate Bennett, Ryan Nobles, Donald Judd and Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.