Spanish— More than 25,000 troops were deployed to Washington, DC to guard the inauguration of Joe Biden as President of the United States. So far, between 150 and 200 National Guardsmen have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The US government imposed unprecedented security measures in the city following the January 6 storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters. The measures following the riots included fences topped with barbed wire and checkpoints manned by the National Guard. However, nothing shielded the soldiers from the pandemic.
In fact, the military inhabited the area in questionable health conditions. Many troops slept on the floor of the Senate cafeteria, then in parking lots, against the pavement.
MILITARY SOURCE IN DC:
“For the last week my battalion has been sleeping on the floor in the Senate cafeteria. Today the Senate kicked us out & moved us to a cold parking garage.
1 power outlet.
This is how Joe Biden’s America treats solders.”
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 22, 2021
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Biden administration official told Reuters that the number of National Guard personnel who tested positive could increase.
The National Guard said in a statement that it would not discuss coronavirus cases, but that personnel was following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, including temperature checks when they left their home state and arrived in the city, along with a screening questionnaire.
The capital’s police have also been affected by the pandemic. This scenario raises concerns not only for the health of law enforcement, but there is a risk that they could become a source of infection for the rest of the population.
38 Capitol Police employees have tested positive for coronavirus since Jan. 6 riot, union chief says https://t.co/lEXmWL08iV
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 24, 2021
How to deal with the coronavirus was one of the key issues of the presidential debates, where Biden pointed to quarantines and lockdowns. The Democrat presented himself as the candidate who would protect the population, seeking to distance himself from Trump, who opposed sacrificing the economy and urged learning to live with the virus while searching for an effective vaccine.
The truth is that daily deaths due to the coronavirus exceeded 4,000 per day since January 8. In fact, CNN reported that “the most recent CDC forecast projects that there will be between 405,000 and 438,000 deaths by the end of the month. The previous document, released on December 30, projected as many as 424,000 deaths by January 23.”
National Guard agenda for the next few days
According to authorities, some 7,000 members of the National Guard are expected to stay at least until the end of the month guarding the nation’s capital, adds the New York Times. About 5,000 soldiers will remain until mid-March.
During his first event as president to present the strategy for dealing with the coronavirus, Biden opened his remarks by thanking law enforcement and the National Guard for providing security at his inauguration.
However, it is these soldiers who are among the hardest hit by the pandemic since his inauguration.
— DCist (@DCist) January 20, 2021