The State Department is responsible for not only foreign relations and embassy operations outside the USA, they also take care of United States citizens and permanent residents when they work and travel in foreign nations.
In response to natural disaster, political unrest or pandemics, the State Department does whatever necessary to safely evacuate USA citizens and residents while mitigating any risks to the rest of the population of the country.
At least that's what is supposed to happen.
In response to the coronavirus outbreak in China, the State Department evacuated people from Wuhan province. Upon their arrival, they were greeted by personnel from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
However proper procedures to avoid the spread of a known contagion were not followed according to a whistleblower.
More than a dozen HHS employees were sent to meet the evacuees without proper training or gear. The over a dozen employees were then not quarantined, monitored or tested for presence of the coronavirus.
The evacuees they came in contact with were quarantined as they were categorized as "high risk" for infection.
The HHS personnel were face to face with potentially infected evacuees. At times they worked alongside personnel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who were in full protective gear including hazmat suits, gloves and masks while the HHS personnel wore no protective gear.
Any of those employees exposed to coronavirus would then introduce it to the general population.
Luckily none of the workers show symptoms for the contagion.
Now the whistleblower who properly notified her chain of command of the violations of proper procedure for infection control has filed a lawsuit.
She claims her rights under the federal Whistleblower Protection Act are being violated.
Her suit alleges she was "unfairly and improperly reassigned" after raising concerns about the safety of untrained and unprotected HHS workers and the general public. The whistleblower has decades of experience, highest performance level reviews and received numerous awards.
Given recent comments by White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley who told Fox News the Trump administration was taking steps to eliminate any civil service personnel who don't promote the Trump agenda, the news another federal employee following laws and regulations faced retaliation came as no surprise.
Lauren Naylor, one of the whistleblower's lawyers, said:
"Our client was concerned that [HHS Administration for Children and Families] staff—who were potentially exposed to the coronavirus—were allowed to leave quarantined areas and return to their communities, where they may have spread the coronavirus to others."
As a result of raising her concerns, the whistleblower was told February 19 she was being reassigned and could either accept the new position by March 5 or be terminated.
According to another of her lawyers:
"She was involuntarily assigned to a position in a subject matter where she has no expertise."