The problem was exacerbated when thousands of soldiers who had been on duty on Capitol Hill were ordered to leave the Congressional buildings and take their breaks outdoors and in nearby parking lots.
WASHINGTON D.C. (El Universal) – Hundreds of National Guard troops who arrived in Washington after the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol tested positive for Covid-19 or are in quarantine at nearby hotels, three sources said, local media cite.
Politico reports that the problem worsened Thursday night when thousands of soldiers who had been on duty at the Capitol were ordered to leave the congressional buildings and take their breaks outdoors and in nearby parking lots.
According to Politico, the National Guard has had difficulty implementing a plan to test soldiers, some of whom have had to try for the disease independently.
Several senators called attention to the issue Thursday night, and some even reached out directly to National Guard commanders and Capitol Police officials, the media outlet notes.
Although some began leaving the capital this week, thousands of soldiers could be asked to remain on duty through March to carry out riot security measures. According to three officials, Politico says.
CNN reported that some were allowed to return to the Capitol Complex after a list of lawmakers expressed outrage that they were moved to a parking lot as a rest area.
Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday that he had spoken with Capitol security officials to make sure “this doesn’t happen again.”
The House Rules Committee is investigating the relocation of the soldiers to parking lots for their time off. Still, above all, they want to find out whether adequate precautions were taken in the face of Covid-19, Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, the ranking Republican on the committee, told Politico.
With Biden’s inauguration over, the challenge now is returning all those troops to the states, which sent reinforcements to Washington DC.
Some National Guard members, such as members of the Wisconsin Air National Guard, were offered the option of receiving the first dose of the covid-19 vaccine before deploying to Washington. In contrast, some received the serum last week, and others will be administered the first dose this Friday.
Still, the corps does not yet have a standardized plan for vaccinating all troops returning home.