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Whistle-Blower: Virus Health Workers Lacked Training and Protective Gear

“Team members were not properly trained, lacked necessary gear and moved freely around and off military bases where Americans were quarantined, a complaint says.”

“WASHINGTON — Federal health employees interacted with Americans quarantined for possible exposure to the coronavirus without proper medical training or protective gear, then scattered into the general population, according to a government whistle-blower who lawmakers say faced retaliation for reporting concerns.

The team was “improperly deployed” to two military bases in California to assist the processing of Americans who had been evacuated from coronavirus hot zones in China and elsewhere, according to a portion of a narrative account shared with Congress and obtained by The New York Times ahead of a formal complaint to the Office of the Special Counsel, an independent government agency that handles federal whistle-blower complaints.

Staff members from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families were sent to Travis Air Force Base and March Air Reserve Base in late January and early February and were ordered to enter quarantined areas, including a hangar where coronavirus evacuees were being received, the complaint said. They were not provided safety-protocol training until five days into their assignment, said the whistle-blower, who is described as a senior leader at the health agency.”
Emily CochraneNoah WeilandMargot Sanger-Katz

Emily Cochrane, Noah Weiland, and Margot Sanger-Katz report for the New York Times February 28, 2020.


“U.S. Workers Without Protective Gear Assisted Coronavirus Evacuees, HHS Whistleblower Says” (Washington Post)

“Diagnosis Of Coronavirus Patient In California Was Delayed For Days” (NPR)

“New California Coronavirus Case Reveals Problems with U.S. Testing Protocols” (Kaiser Health News)

“After Mystery Coronavirus Case In California, Health Officials Go Into Detective Mode” (NBC News)

“Coronavirus Testing Widened As California Case Makes Containment More Urgent” (Washington Post)