How a DHS whistleblower was silenced over early COVID failures

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How a DHS whistleblower was silenced over early COVID failures

Former DHS employee Tom McGinn was sidelined almost three years ago for questioning his agency’s response to the outbreak of the COVID pandemic.

was one of the nation’s best-placed officials to help devise a robust government response to the outbreak of the coronavirus.Talal Ansari Feb.PUBLISHED 12:25 PM ET Feb.told local media that the technology has been used along the border since 2013, that the blimp in question has a range of 3,000 feet above ground level and allows Border Patrol to”maintain visual awareness of border activity in the United States for longer periods of time.

In January 2020, the senior scientist in the Department’s Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) began imploring the DHS to aggressively respond to the threat he believed COVID-19 posed to the nation.Infections needed to be tracked, the country’s food-supply secured, law-enforcement agencies required help to protect their personnel and the origins of the virus had to be investigated.S.“When you study emerging infectious diseases…the important thing is the earlier you can identify it, the greater the possibility you have to mitigate the impact so death and suffering are minimized,” says 68 year-old McGinn, a North Carolina-native living in Frederick County, Md.What You Need To Know Nearly 1,000 families remain separated as a result of the Trump administration policy that split up undocumented immigrants and their children at the Mexican border, the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday According to the DHS, the task force has identified 3,924 children who were separated from their families from Jan.“The longer you wait to make a decision the more the disaster can escalate and cascade into…an out of control event.The federal program has reunited 600 migrant children with their parents, according to numbers released by the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday, the second anniversary of the establishment of the Family Reunification Task Force.” According to McGinn, the DHS has placed him on unpaid leave for nearly three years after his superiors dredged up years-old allegations of marijuana use and harassment, neither of which were ever fully investigated.He can be reached at.

AFP via Getty Images Well aware of COVID’s potential to spiral out of control – and spurred by CWMD’s legal obligation to act in times of disaster – McGinn drew up a memo questioning his office’s handling of 30 critical pandemic-related issues.1, 2,926 have been reunited with their families — more than 600 of those since Biden took office “We remain steadfast in our commitment to fulfill President Biden’s pledge to reunify all children,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said The update came on the second anniversary of President Joe Biden creating the Family Reunification Task Force.Among his key concerns: How the DHS planned to monitor COVID’s spread, their strategy for developing a robust contract-tracing system and the creation of PPE employee guidelines.(They’re the types of topics addressed in the pair of White House COVID emergency declarations that Pres.Biden just announced will end in May.20, 2021.) McGinn then delivered the document to CWMD managers and waited for a response.

And waited.And waited.Of the 998 children who remain separated, 148 are in the process of being reunited while another 183 families have been notified by a contracted nongovernmental organization about the opportunity for reunification, the DHS said.What he received instead, said McGinn, were “crickets.” After months of silence — with scant safety protocols and minimal tracking measures in place — McGinn became so frustrated that he took matters in his own hands.In early April 2020, he submitted a dozen official Request for Information documents demanding accountability for his office’s inaction.The number of separated families has continued to grow because more families have come forward, the DHS said.

“This is a national embarrassment that is being covered up instead of requiring DHS to address it proactively,” he wrote at that time.Nearly six months later, with no response in sight, he went one step further, submitting a series of DHS Decision Memos — which compel the agency to respond to issues such as those raised by McGinn — in order to force the CWMD to take action.Yet still nothing happened.The policy sparked strong backlash both in the United States and around the world, especially because the administration struggled to track the children.Inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where research into bat-borne coronaviruses — some funded by the US government — has been tied to the outbreak of Covid-19.McGinn says he raised such concerns to DHS officials.

Future Publishing via Getty Imag “By [that point], CWMD had failed in so many areas,” he told the Post, “that it was painfully apparent that they were not … holding themselves accountable.The task force has been working with NGOs and international partners to conduct outreach and support separated families, the DHS said.” But rather than finally take action against COVID, McGinn alleges that the DHS took action against him.In interviews, McGinn describes how DHS officials conspired to silence his voice and end his career for daring to question why their COVID response was both meager in scope — and, he claims, politically motivated.A nearly 20-year veteran of the DHS, McGinn describes himself as a patriot, devoted to both the DHS and America’s safety.and accessing behavioral health services after arriving.Despite his decades of loyalty, McGinn claims his decision to confront his superiors resulted in a series of retaliatory measures that have yet to end.

Even though he should have been protected under federal “whistleblower” laws, McGinn has spent the last three years in a state of institutional limbo, placed on “leave without pay” status while the DHS allegedly refuses to resolve his case.Former COVID czar Dr.Anthony Fauci not only tried to quash suggestions that the virus might be man-made, he has ties to government-funded NGOs working on risky coronavirus research in Wuhan.AFP via Getty Images “When you put someone on leave without pay for years…you’re putting [them] in a virtual governmental jail…[without] money to support their family,” McGinn said.“You’re not trying to protect the country.

” According to McGinn, in September 2020, weeks after submitting those Decision Memos, the DHS dredged up unproven, half-decade old allegations of harassment and marijuana consumption which they used to revoke his security clearance and remove him from office.McGinn denies the allegations, which he says were never proven.The DHS “weaponized….unsubstantiated allegations from 2017” that they had a “duty to resolve” but never did, McGinn said.This type of investigation, he added — rooted in personal, rather than security-related claims — would typically be handled by an employee’s own manager, not escalated directly to a higher office.

For years, McGinn says he partnered with the now-controversial NGO Eco Health Alliance, whose work on bat-borne coronaviruses is suspected by some to be connected to the origins of COVID-19.“The effort seems to be an amateurish attempt…to drive him to resign,” said former DHS Chief Medical Officer Duane Caneva, a presidential appointee and McGinn’s former direct supervisor in a letter of support for him at the time.“It seems like an example of an impersonal, bureaucratic maneuver devoid of due process.” Caneva repeated these observations in an interview with the Post.McGinn believes that his case, while personally painful, is indicative of larger systemic failures across the DHS that have left the government unprepared to respond to national crises like COVID-19.

And such failures, McGinn concludes, have almost certainly cost lives.McGinn is a veteran Federal government scientist who helped lead search-and-rescue canine teams at Ground Zero following the September 11th attacks.At that time, he was serving as a deputy commander at the National Disaster Medical System, which coordinates Federal-level disaster responses.At Ground Zero, McGinn says he felt “called” to prevent another disaster like the Twin Tower attacks from ever happening again.One of McGinn’s key worries was inadequate covid testing programs at US airports, which he says not only ignored asymptomatic patients, but failed to fully tally and report total case numbers.

Getty Images It was a call that McGinn took seriously at DHS, where he helped design bioweapons and pandemic response simulations.“I’m not a water carrier.I’m not a status quo guy.I’m not trying to go along to advance my career,” McGinn said.“I am about doing what the law requires of us.

” McGinn believed he was following the law when in February 2020, he began looking into the origins of COVID-19.What he found was a number of biological indicators suggesting that the pandemic did not emerge from the Huanan Seafood Market in the Chinese city of Wuhan as other leading scientists then claimed — most notably US covid czar, Anthony Fauci.“When you look at the epidemiology that was being put forth [claiming COVID-19 originated at the market], it was just not possible,” said McGinn.“You’ve got cases not connected to that location, that are prior to that location.It’s not rocket science.

” Former air marshal and Executive Director at the Air Marshal National Council Sonya LaBosco echoes sentiments share by McGinn that the DHS failed to adequately protect air marshals flying with passengers potentially infected with COVID-19.Sonya Hightower LaBosco/ Faceboo the New York-based NGO that funneled US government funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.That scientist — whom McGinn requested remain anonymous — agreed that the pandemic was unlikely to have started at the market.(The conversation was corroborated by a third party).Like McGinn, he observed a number of COVID index cases, or initial patients, who lacked a clear connection to the facility.

McGinn says he then consulted with Dr.David Franz , the former head of USAMRIID — the U.S.military’s central institution for the study of biological warfare — who, he says, corroborated his doubts about COVID-19’s origins.(Franz did not respond to the Post’s request for comment).

McGinn further questioned the EHA scientist about research into bat-borne coronaviruses being conducted in Wuhan, part of it funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Fauci then led.Animal-borne infections are a specialty for McGinn, who trained as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University, where he focused on infectious disease and reproductive health in animal populations.According to both McGinn and LaBosco, DHS failure to develop comprehensive prevention measures for their marshal personnel likely resulted in unnecessary COVID infections and possibly even deaths.The Washington Post via Getty Im This is not the first time McGinn had engaged with EHA; for years his department had partnered with the NGO on infectious disease prevention programs.Typically, his EHA counterparts were “very forthcoming and helpful,” he said.

But that changed entirely when he confronted them about the origins of COVID-19.Their responses, he said, suddenly became “vague and evasive.” This evasiveness led McGinn to conclude that the years-long entanglement between EHA and the Wuhan lab’s bat-borne viruses research demanded an immediate investigation.The lab, McGinn believed, is where the COVID outbreak actually occurred—a belief.

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