More than 130 U.S. Secret Service officers have tested positive for the coronavirus or have been in close contact with infected colleagues, according to The Washington Post newspaper.
The report, published Friday, was attributed to three people “familiar with agency staffing.”
The Secret Service officers, who, among other duties, are tasked with protecting President Donald Trump when he travels and at the White House, were ordered recently to isolate, the report said.
The sources, who the Post says spoke anonymously in order to speak more freely, said the infections are believed to be related to campaign rallies Trump held before the Nov. 3 presidential election. The report also cites the sources as saying that about 10% of the agency’s primary security team has been “sidelined.”
Trump, members of his immediate family, and an increasing number of White House and campaign officials have tested positive recently for the coronavirus in the wake of campaign events, where many administration officials and other attendees did not wear masks.
The White House and the Secret Service did not immediately comment on the report, but White House spokesman Judd Deere told the Post the administration takes “every case seriously” and directed the Post to the Secret Service for answers to questions about the outbreak. An agency spokesperson declined to comment to the Post.
The reported outbreak among the officers occurred as the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. continues to worsen. More than 153,000 new infections in the U.S. were reported Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University, the first time new single-day totals exceeded 150,000.
Nearly 10.6 million people in the U.S. have contracted the coronavirus, while the country’s death toll approaches 243,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.