Secret service agents charged with protecting President Donald Trump will finally start wearing protective masks – even if the President himself continues to shun practice.
The agents are among the many people who work in the White House complex and are preparing to take new precautions after two people who work there have tested positive for the virus – as a senior official admitted it was ‘scary’ to be in the building to work.
White House assistants – almost all of whom did not want to wear masks, even though the White House and the Centers for Disease Control encouraged Americans to use them – are now allowed to take new social distance measures while at work, ABC news reported.
Agents who are close to the President or who are near the Oval Office will hang the masks, according to the report – following news that a clerk who was near Trump tested positive for the coronavirus .
One measure under consideration is to leave White House assistants several feet apart, an important CDC recommendation to prevent the spread of the virus, including during their meetings with the President.
People scheduled to meet Trump will be tested, as will a list of more than a dozen people.
For weeks, outsiders who came to the White House to meet Trump have been tested. Reporters attending the White House briefings were tested once, but are now only allowed to undergo temperature controls before participating and entering the White House complex.
One of Donald Trump’s top economic advisers admitted on Sunday that it is “ scary ” to think about going back to work and expressed his own concerns about working in the White House during the pandemic.
“It’s scary to go to work,” Kevin Hassett told CBS News on Sunday morning. “I think I would be much safer sitting at home than going to the West Wing. But you know, it’s the time when people have to come up and serve their country. ‘
The comments come after one of Trump’s personal servants and Vice President Mike Pence’s spokeswoman, Katie Miller, both tested positive for coronavirus.
Several officials from the administration and task force, including top immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn, and the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, go into quarantine after potential exposure to the disease.
Even amid increasing infection rates and deaths across the country, White House officials have avoided embracing mask protocols. Last Tuesday, when Trump flew to Arizona, assistants including Hope Hicks, Jared Kushner, and Dan Scavino walked close to Marine One without wearing masks.
In particular, Trump did not wear a mask while visiting a Honeywell-operated mask factory during the trip. A group of more than 20 White House officials went to look at Trump’s departure and sat close together without wearing masks.
Kevin Hassett, White House economic advisor, admitted on Sunday that he is afraid of going to work. “It’s scary to go to work,” he said. “I think I would be much safer sitting at home than going to the West Wing”
The comments came after Vice President Mike Pence’s spokeswoman, Katie Miller (pictured) and one of the president’s personal marines, both tested positive for coronavirus
The comments also come when some states start easing lock restrictions and allow non-essential businesses to reopen and people get back to work
No state has completely reopened yet, but many counties are well on their way to ending home orders and social distance guidelines
“Are you wearing a mask? Do you keep showing up for work at the White House? CBS News Margaret Brennan posed for Hassett while Trump continues to receive criticism for not wearing a mask in public.
Reporters at White House briefings should now wear masks.
“I have a mask here,” he said. “And the fact is that I practice aggressive social distances. I wear a mask when I find it necessary. ‘
Hassett acknowledged that it is ‘risky’ to work in the West Wing because it is a ‘small, busy place’.
The economic advisor’s acknowledgment of fear is also because several states have begun to ease restrictions on lockdown and stay at home.
At the local level, some states, counties and places have decided to start reopening by allowing non-essential companies to operate and close areas that were closed to enforce social distance guidelines, such as beaches, golf courses and marinas.
Hassett also suggested in his interview on Sunday that it was ‘wishful thinking’ when he said that the labor market could recover in six months.
“No one knows,” Kevin Hassett told CBS News on Sunday morning when asked about the “silver rim” he proposed to the president two days ago. “And you know, and it’s very unsatisfying.”
The claim comes as new figures released last week showed in the past two months, over 33 million people have claimed unemployment benefits after losing or losing their jobs.