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Tag: coronavirus

30+ ICE Detainees Have Tested Positive for Coronavirus; 11 Staffers Also Infected.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

More than 30 ICE detainees have tested positive for the coronavirus, and immigration advocates are worried it’s going to get a lot worse.

Detainees with confirmed infections “have been quarantined and are receiving care,” ICE said in a statement to The Washington Post, and people exposed to them “are being monitored for symptoms.”

Civil rights group and immigration advocates are urging ICE to release the detainees before the spread gets worse. Without the ability to socially distance, detainees are especially at risk, they say.

Eleven staffers at detention facilities also have tested positive in Colorado, Louisiana, New Jersey, Ohio and Texas.

FBI Arrests Texas Man Accused of Offering to Pay Someone to Spread the Coronavirus

SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the coronavirus, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 39-year-old Texas man who is accused of claiming on social media that he paid someone to intentionally spread the coronavirus at grocery stores.

Christopher Charles Perez, of San Antonio, has been charged with one count of false information and hoaxes related to weapons of mass destruction.

Federal prosecutors say Perez posted the threat on Facebook in hopes of deterring people from visiting grocery stories.

Authorities said the threat was false, and no one spread the highly contagious disease, according to a U.S. Justice Department news release.

The FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Squad and the Joint Terrorism Task Force are investigating this case.

Intelligence Report Sounded Alarm on Coronavirus in November

SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the coronavirus, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The coronavirus outbreak that is rapidly sweeping across America, claiming lives and wrecking the economy, should have been no surprise to the Trump administration because of warnings about the contagion as far back as November.

The U.S. military’s National Center for Medical Intelligence issued a report in November that warned about an out-of-control virus spreading across China’s Wuhan region, ABC News reports, citing officials familiar with the document.

The report, which relied on wire and computer intercepts and satellite images, warned that U.S. forces in Asia were at risk.

“Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event,” one of the sources said of the NCMI’s report. “It was then briefed multiple times to” the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and the White House.

But on Jan. 22, Trump’s first comments about the virus were dismissive of its threat to the U.S. In a CNBC interview, Trump was asked, “Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?”

The president responded, “No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”

160 CBP Employees Tested Positive for the Coronavirus

Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

At least 160 Customs and Border Protection employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The employees, who include customs officers and border agents, are stationed in at least 20 cities in the U.S., according to the agency’s site dedicated to COVID-19.

There are 52 cases in New York City, 17 in Miami, and 10 in each Los Angeles and Newark.

This is the first time CBP released information on its employees impacted by COVID-19.

Other federal agencies are getting hit hard. More than 100 TSA employees in more than two dozen states have become infected.

Border Patrol Reverts to Quick Deportations to Protect Agents from Coronavirus

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona is reverting to quick deportations to protect agents from the coronavirus.

In the past, many people who illegally crossed the border were incarcerated and prosecuted.

Now, agents are deporting undocumented immigrants in “a matter of minutes,” Border Patrol spokesman Daniel Hernandez tells Arizona Public Media.

Instead of arresting migrants, they receive masks and a background check in the field before they are returned to a port of entry and deported.

It wasn’t immediately clear who many people have been deported this way or whether any of the undocumented immigrants were infected with the coronavirus.

First TSA Employee Dies from Coronavirus; More than 100 others have tested positive

TSA’s Francis “Frank” Boccabella III.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

It was only a matter of time.

More than 100 TSA employees, most of them screeners, have tested positive for the coronavirus since the U.S. outbreak began.

On Thursday, Francis “Frank” Boccabella III, an expositive detection canine handler at Newark Liberty International Airport, became the first TSA employee to die from the coronavirus.

Boccabella was only 39. He worked as a TSA officer since June 2004, when he started out screening air cargo at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

“He is the first federal TSA employee who we have lost to COVID-19,” the TSA said in a news release. “The news of this loss strengthens our determination to work ever more closely with our interagency partners to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

More Than TSA Employees Have Confirmed Coronavirus Infections

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The number of TSA employees who have tested positive for coronavirus has topped 100.

In just the past 14 days, 58 screening officers and 21 non-screening employees have confirmed infections in 19 states.

More than three dozen TSA employees tested positive more than two weeks ago.

TSA screeners are vulnerable because they have close contact with a lot of travelers.

Several airports have multiple TSA employees sick, including Newark Liberty International and John F. Kennedy
International.

Federal lawmakers have been calling on the TSA to better protect its employees and the public.

Nearly 9,000 Homeland Security Employees Quarantined Or Infected with Coronavirus

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Nearly 300 Homeland Security employees have confirmed coronavirus infections and more than 8,500 have been quarantined at a time when the agency is needed to combat the highly contagious disease.

An internal Homeland Security report obtained by the Los Angeles Times identifies 292 employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 8,524 who are under quarantine.

Homeland Security plays a critical role in combating the virus, with departments such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Transportation Security Administration, the Border Patrol, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“These numbers underscore the risks that the men and women at DHS are taking every day to protect public safety,” John Sandweg, former acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in the Obama administration, said. “Measures can and should be taken to protect the workforce, including limiting operations to only those that are only mission critical to protect national security and public safety.”

The union that represents Border Patrol employees said the Trump administration is “exposing them to dangers that are unnecessary.”

“I don’t think the agency is doing enough to protect agents or individuals we come in contact with, period,” said Brandon Judd, president of the union.

Judd said six Border Patrol agents have confirmed infections and an addition 42 have been quarantined.