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Tom Devine, '80 in W. Post on TSA Covid-19 Whistleblower

Saturday, June 20, 2020  
Posted by: Joe Libertelli
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PhotFILE - In this June 17, 2020 file photo, a TSA worker, right, checks a passenger before entering a security screening at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Fla. A high-ranking Transportation Security Administration official says the agency is falling short when it comes to protecting airport screeners and the public from the new coronavirus, according to published reports. A federal office that handles whistleblower complaints has ordered an investigation. (John Raoux, File/Associated Press)

UDC Law Whistleblower Protection Clinic Director Tom Devine, '80, who has long served as Legal Director for the Government Accountability Project (GAP), was mentioned in the Washington Post on Friday, June 19 and quoted on Saturday June 20 in articles about a GAP client, Jay Brainard, a top TSA official in Kansas, whose charges against the TSA have been deemed credible by the Office of Special Counsel and referred back to the Department of Homeland Security for investigation. 

According to the June 19 article, Brainard alleges that TSA "helped spread COVID-19 by failing to provide enough protective gear for airport screeners who are in close contact with travelers every day," and that "the agency didn’t train staff for the pandemic and barred supervisors like him from giving screeners stockpiled N95 respirators in March when facial coverings such as surgical masks were hard to buy."

The Post quotes Brainard as saying, “I have no doubt whatsoever that our people became Typhoid Marys and contributed to the spread of that virus because TSA senior leadership did not make sure (screeners) were adequately protected.”

In the Saturday June 20 article, Devine was directly quoted, 

“We’re very concerned that they’re so weak and incomplete,” said Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project. “They’re going to institutionalize the TSA workforce as a major threat for spreading the pandemic.”


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