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Whistleblower: HHS Workers Not Properly Trained to Interact with Evacuees from China

FILE - The Department of Health and Human Services building is seen in the evening in Washington.

A prominent U.S. newspaper reports that a whistleblower claims personnel from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, lacking proper training and protective gear, interacted with American evacuees from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

The account in The Washington Post says the unidentified whistleblower is a senior HHS official who was "unfairly and improperly reassigned after raising concerns" about the possibility of the workers being exposed to the virus.

She was told, according to the report that she had to accept a new position by March 5th or she would be fired.

The whistleblower's complaint said the HHS workers found themselves working beside Centers for Disease Control staff who were in "full gown, gloves and hazmat attire."

The newspaper reported that the whistleblower said in her complaint that the HHS workers were not monitored or tested for the virus during or after their deployment.

The evacuated Americans were quarantined on military bases in California and Texas.

HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley told The Post, "We take all whistleblower complaints very seriously and are providing the complainant all appropriate protections under the Whistleblower Protection Act."