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March 17, 2020

Chairman Thompson Writes Secret Service for Campaign and Convention Coronavirus Contingency Plans

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to the Director of the U.S. Secret Service to request the Service’s contingency plans related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of the presidential campaigns and the upcoming party conventions.

Letter excerpts:

I write to inquire about the plans in place for the United States Secret Service (USSS) to prepare for COVID-19 in the context of the presidential campaign as well as the Democratic and Republican conventions this summer. A comprehensive approach to the USSS protective mission will necessarily involve significant preparation to address and mitigate potential health risks to the candidates and the party conventions, which are designated National Special Security Events, as well as USSS employees—particularly those on the front lines.

As you know, presidential campaigns traditionally involve significant interpersonal contact in the form of individual interactions, such as door-to-door canvassing, as well as large-scale events, such as rallies. The two party conventions traditionally involve the participation of thousands of people traveling from across the country, including countless older adults and people with underlying health conditions, working and socializing in close quarters for several days.

Under these circumstances, operationalizing the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health officials will require significant preparation, planning, and creativity. Even as daily life is upended by COVID-19, Americans deserve to know how the USSS intends to safeguard its protectees on the campaign trail, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and President Donald J. Trump, and ensure that the party conventions proceed safely and securely with regard to this growing pandemic.

Link to Letter

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Press Contact

Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978