Multiple Secret Service agents are criticizing President TrumpDonald John TrumpQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters MORE’s brief appearance in an SUV outside Walter Reed Medical Center Sunday evening, accusing the president of putting his protective detail in unnecessary danger.
“He’s not even pretending to care now,” an agent who requested anonymity told The Washington Post.
“That should never have happened,” another unidentified agent who works in both the presidential and first family detail, told CNN. “The frustration with how we’re treated when it comes to decisions on this illness goes back before this though. We’re not disposable.”
Agents are authorized to decline requests that would place the president at risk, but not those that would put themselves at risk.
Another agent, however, dismissed the idea that the president had shown reckless disregard for his detail.
“I’ve watched some of the news today and it’s ridiculous to say the president is trying to kill off his detail,” the agent told CNN. “He’s unconventional, but we get the job done.”
The White House has defended the safety of the president’s short trip outside the hospital. Spokesman Judd Deere said Sunday that “appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the president and all those supporting it.”
The president could be seen wearing a cloth face mask in the window of the vehicle Sunday. However, “masks help, but they are not an impenetrable force field,” Yale Institute for Global Health director Saad B. Omer tweeted Sunday.
This is an individual with an active infection in close proximity with two other individuals, in a vehicle with closed windows, performing an optional task (masks help, but they are not an impenetrable force field). https://t.co/ktatDxwlDF
— Saad B. Omer (@SaadOmer3) October 4, 2020
The president was hospitalized Friday, hours after the White House announced he had tested positive for coronavirus. The Sunday trip was his first public appearance since he was hospitalized and follows the release of conflicting information by the White House and the president’s doctors on his condition.