Two Secret Service agents that rode with then-President Donald Trump because he drove around Walter Reed National Military Medical Center while he had been hospitalized with Covid-19 last year required to wear complete medical protective gear, the agency’s manager said Thursday.
Manager of the U.S. Secret Service James Murray told a House budget hearing which the former president’s desire to be seen beyond the hospital in October where he would wave to fans”was extensively discussed” with physicians ahead.
He said the Secret Service spoke with the White House health care staff and medical staff at Water Reed ahead and the 2 agents in the automobile with Trump wore the exact same kind of personal protective gear gear that front line healthcare workers used. “The two people from the vehicle were completely outfitted in PPE,” he said.
White House officials said at the time the president was tired and wanted to show strength, however, the move has been widely criticized. A physician affiliated with the hospital, George Washington University Professor James Phillips, tweeted”Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary presidential’drive by’ currently has to be quarantined for 14 days.”
Murray also told the House hearing that he would love to get a replica of the White House at the bureau’s training center outside Washington. Using the present training facility”is like using a basketball team practice outside in a field, rather indoors on a basketball court.”
He said the new, taller fence around the White House fence has been set up on the north side of the grounds and should be finished a year from today.
“The new fence is a game changer for us,” Murray said, adding that the agency may have to consider setting up a checkpoint further out to screen individuals before they can get up to the fencing.