More Than 100 National Guard Deployed To Washington, D.C. Test Positive For Covid
More than 100 National Guard troops deployed to Washington, D.C. have contracted Covid-19.
Between 150 and 200 members sent to the capital to protect the Capitol and Senators have reportedly tested positive for the deadly disease.
A number of insiders have spoken to several news outlets, including Reuters and Politico about the circumstances surrounding the positive tests.
According to reports, they claimed there has been a failure on the part of the National Guard to implement the correct protocols, with some troops not being tested upon their arrival and some receiving only temperature checks.
Others, they said, were told to cut short their quarantine or skip it entirely so that they could continue to work.
It's not yet known how many of the thousands of troops in the city have potentially contracted the virus.
But the claims come after shocking photos emerged showing soldiers of the National Guard sleeping in a car park.
Sharing the photos to their Twitter account, Senator Tim Scott said: "Our troops deserve the utmost honor & respect for securing the Capitol and defending democracy this week.
"This is unconscionable and unsafe. Whoever's decision this was to house our National Guardsmen and women in underground parking lots must be held accountable."
New York representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez also said: "Yeah this is not okay.
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"My office is free this week to any service members who'd like to use it for a break or take nap on the couch. We'll stock up on snacks for you all too."
Our troops deserve the utmost honor & respect for securing the Capitol & defending democracy this week.
This is unconscionable & unsafe. Whoever's decision this was to house our National Guardsmen & women in underground parking lots must be held accountable. pic.twitter.com/mBwpoog6YC
- Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) January 22, 2021
Adding: "We're in the middle of moving offices and it's a bit messy so don't judge, but make yourself at home!"
US media reported that President Joe Biden made a telephone call to the head of the National Guard Bureau on Friday (22 January) to apologise and to ask how he could help.
First Lady Jill Biden also visited the troops to bring them some biscuits from the White House as a gift.
She told them: "I just wanted to come today to say thank you to all of you for keeping me and my family safe."
A National Guard spokesperson confirmed the troops were moved to the garage on Thursday because of 'increased foot traffic' following the return of Congress.
Yogananda Pittman, the acting chief of the Capitol Police, said that her agency 'did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities' despite contradictory reports from two officers to the Associated Press news agency.
The troops were allowed to return to the Capitol on Thursday after the decision was reversed.
More than 25,000 National Guard troops were deployed to Washington, D.C. ahead of Mr Biden's inauguration ceremony on Wednesday (20 January) following the violent scenes in the US capital earlier in the month.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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