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Mike Pence delayed a campaign event in Arizona after at least 8 Secret Service agents tested positive for the coronavirus while preparing for the trip

Business Insider logo Business Insider 7/3/2020 acollman@businessinsider.com (Ashley Collman)
a man wearing a suit and tie: Vice President Mike Pence arrives for the Senate Republican luncheon in Hart Building on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images © Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Vice President Mike Pence arrives for the Senate Republican luncheon in Hart Building on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
  • Vice President Mike Pence's trip to Arizona this week was delayed by a day after several of his Secret Service agents tested positive for or showed symptoms of the coronavirus, The Washington Post reported.
  • Between eight and ten agents got sick while preparing for the trip, The Post reported.
  • Secret Service agents had also fallen ill with COVID-19 while preparing for President Donald Trump's Tulsa, Oklahoma rally last month.
  • It highlights the risks agents face while helping members of the Trump administration carry out in-person visits to coronavirus hot zones.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Arizona was delayed a day this week after several of his Secret Service agents became sick with the coronavirus, two senior administration officials told The Washington Post on Thursday. 

The vice president was scheduled to visit Arizona on Tuesday with members of the coronavirus task force, to speak with local officials as cases surged in the state.

But the trip was moved back a day when — according to one source's estimates — eight to 10 Secret Service agents in Arizona either tested positive for the coronavirus or showed symptoms of the illness while preparing for the trip.

At least one agent on the ground in Arizona was confirmed positive with the coronavirus, and other agents and officials had showed symptoms of the illness, The Post reported, citing its sources.

Pushing the trip back to Wednesday allowed the Secret Service to bring in healthy agents to guard the vice president. 

Mike Pence wearing a suit and tie: Pence speaks at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC, on February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria © REUTERS/Carlos Barria Pence speaks at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC, on February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

This follows five Secret Service agents getting sick in the lead-up to President Donald Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma last month, and highlights the risks that agents face helping members of the Trump administration carry out in-person visits to coronavirus hot zones.

Coronavirus cases in Arizona are soaring, and Gov. Doug Ducey dialed back the state's reopening plans by ordering bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks, and tubing businesses to close again.

Many other hard-hit states, like Texas, Florida, and California, have also reimposed restrictions ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

Neither the White House nor the Secret Service immediately responded to Business Insider's request for comment on Pence and the affected agents.

In a statement to The Post, Pence spokesman Devin O'Malley criticized the newspaper for "choosing to use its pages to report on a story of little use to every day Americans attempting to learn more about how coronavirus affects them or the Administration's response efforts." 

Secret Service communications director Catherine Milhoan did not comment on the story, but said that "the health and safety of our workforce, their families, and that of our protectees remains the agency's highest priority."

In early May, Pence's spokeswoman Katie Miller also tested positive for the coronavirus, but recovered and returned to work later that month.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Video: Rubio urges pool testing in letter to Pence, Azar in wake of Florida's coronavirus case spike (FOX News)

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