A former Secret Service supervisor condemned President Donald Trump for subjecting agents assigned to protect him with heightened risk of contracting the coronavirus in an op-ed for The Washington Post.
Joseph Petro, whose 23 years of service included a supervisory role under President Ronald Reagan, called out Trump and Secret Service management for their apparent disregard for agents’ safety in the column published Tuesday.
In the article — titled “I’m a former Secret Service executive. The willingness to put agents in danger is inexcusable” — Petro noted that safeguarding agents was “always our highest priority.”
But “today, it seems, that is not always the case,” he lamented, pointing out how Trump endangered protective service members on Sunday by leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to drive past supporters in a hermetically sealed SUV with agents.
“Given the president’s COVID-19 infection, this was a gratuitous and dangerous political exercise that needlessly exposed his Secret Service agents — as well as their families — to the potentially deadly novel coronavirus,” Petro wrote.
Petro described the failure of agents to wear masks as “very disappointing” and held “the management of the Secret Service responsible for this inexcusable lack of concern for the lives of the agents and their families.”
“The Secret Service cannot protect the president from himself, but its management has a solemn responsibility to protect those agents who put their lives on the line every day to protect him,” Petro concluded. “It should not be that hard to do.”
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