Nearly 200 members of the National Guard deployed to Washington, DC for the inauguration of President Joe Biden have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The 200 troops were part of an approximately 26,000-strong National Guard force sent from all 50 US states to Washington, DC to provide security for the inauguration following the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.
Some 15,000 of the National Guard troops have been orders to leave, while 3,600 more are awaiting orders, the report said. Some 7,000 have been asked to stay until the end of January to help ensure security in the capital, the report added.
News of the infections broke as the troops were reported to be working and moving in tight quarters during the inauguration, in conditions where safe physical distancing protocols could not be maintained.
On Thursday evening, reports emerged that National Guard troops guarding the US Capitol were asked to move and sleep in the Senate parking garage. Since criticism of the troops' treatment ensued on social media, the National Guard members were invited back to the Capitol and in nearby hotels.