By Steve Neavling
No federal agency has been more impacted by the coronavirus than the TSA.
As of Monday, 780 TSA employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and five have died.
Now that coronavirus cases are increasing in at least 36 states, the TSA is trying to provide more training and protective gear to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to airport employees and travelers.
Jay Brainard, the top TSA official in Kansas, has reported that supervisors were prevented from providing screeners with stockpiled N95 masks in March, when it was difficult to buy the respirators. He also said the TSA failed to adequately train employees to deal with the coronavirus.
It’s a difficult job because security requires person-to-person contact, and that’s how the virus spreads.
Congress is asking for more information on the safety protocols to keep employee safe. In a June 16 letter to Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Homeland Security, called on more effective protocols.
“Given that COVID-19 disproportionately affects certain demographics, any such protocols must be designed to guard against passengers from certain racial or ethnic minorities being targeted for screening in a discriminatory fashion,” Thompson wrote.