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July 10, 2020

Chairman Thompson Writes DHS on Sharp Increase of COVID-19 Cases at the Department

“Despite this troubling trend, it appears your Department has not taken simple steps to help ensure these employees are as safe as possible”

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf regarding the troubling rise in COVID-19 cases among the frontline workforce of the Department of Homeland Security. According to data regularly provided to the Committee, the number of employees who currently have the virus is the highest it has been.

In just the past two weeks, cases at TSA and CBP, agencies whose employees regularly interact with the public, saw cases increase by 43 and 52 percent respectively.  Masks are still not mandated at airport security checkpoints.

Also, in the time since President Trump held his June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, cases at the Secret Service have jumped 1000 percent.  As cases at DHS continue to rise, its law enforcement officers have received additional duties in assisting the Department’s new statue protection ‘Task Force,’ which many believe highlights the Department’s misplaced priorities and is a diversion from its core functions.

“As the number of DHS employees who have fallen ill during this pandemic continues to rise at an alarming rate, I urge you to take the steps necessary to protect all of the DHS workforce,” Chairman Thompson wrote.

Link to letter

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