More than 130 Secret Service agents who protect the White House and the president when he travels have recently been ordered to quarantine due to a positive test or close contact to an infected co-worker, according to three people familiar with agency staffing.
The spread has affected nearly 10% of the agency’s team, and is believed to be linked to the string of campaign rallies held in the weeks before the election.
All those who spoke with the Washington Post did so anonymously. A spokeswoman for the Secret Service declined to comment.
Trump went on a travel blitz in the final stretch of the campaign, making five campaign stops on each of the last two days. On Nov. 2, Trump’s campaign schedule required five separate groups of Secret Service officers — each numbering 20 to several dozen — to travel to Fayetteville, N.C.; Scranton, Pa.; Traverse City, Mich.; Kenosha, Wis. and Grand Rapids, Mich.; to screen spectators and secure the perimeter around the president’s events.
President-elect Joe Biden made two campaign stops that day that also required Secret Service protection, but in smaller numbers.
The agency is also tracing the contacts back to the White House where many agents report daily.
“Being down more than 100 officers is very problematic,” said one former senior Secret Service supervisor. “That does not bode well for White House security.”