U.S. Diplomats Concerned about China’s ‘Anal Swab’ COVID Testing
China seems to have been messing with our diplomats, and we’re digging up the details, which the Biden administration seems intent on concealing.
We received eight pages of communications from the U.S. Department of State revealing concerns by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing that U.S. diplomatic personnel were being asked to submit to an anal swab COVID testing policy. The redacted documents show that at as many as two people were either asked or required to take an anal test for COVID by the Chinese government.
We obtained the records in response to a FOIA lawsuit against the State Department for non-identifying records of U.S. diplomatic personnel being subjected to invasive COVID-19 anal swab tests by the Chinese government (Judicial Watch v U.S. Dept of State (No. 1:21-cv-02111)). We sued after the State Department failed to respond to a June 18, 2021, FOIA request for:
All records about US diplomatic personnel in or seeking to enter China being subjected to anal swab tests for the COVID-19 virus, including all complaints and communications regarding such testing. This request does not seek any personal identifying information of US diplomatic personnel that may have been subjected to such testing.
On January 25, 2021, an unidentified general services officer in the U.S. Embassy, Beijing, sent emails to personnel evidently under quarantine after traveling to China under the subject line “Testing Guidance:”
Sorry for the strange questions, but I was directed by embassy management to survey our people and ensure we are not being asked to participate in the more invasive testing procedures.
The sender also writes:
There’s no good way to ask this, but has any health authority asked you or your spouse to conduct an anal swab test? The embassy obviously does not authorize or permit this type of testing on diplomats, but others have been asked so I need to verify everyone’s experience.
The testers may also ask to do an “environmental test” where they enter the residence and swab drinking glasses, furniture, etc. This is also not permitted. They may swab the outside of the doorknob, but nothing internal. [Emphasis in the original.]
For the record, our agreement is for nasal and/or throat swabs only. If you are asked to undergo either of the above or any other that seems inappropriate, please refuse and contact us immediately. We will escalate to [China’s] MFA/FAO [foreign area officer] and go from there.
One recipient responds on January 26:
No, I have had no unusual requests. I received a nasal and throat swab when I arrived in Shanghai and just a throat swab before departing.
Beginning at 10:34 p.m. on January 26, 2021, another unidentified sender emails to an unidentified recipient under Subject Line, “Test:”
[Redacted] please call me at your convenient time [redacted]. Below text message came from [redacted]. This is not good!”
At 10:39, the recipient responds:
This is becoming so non diplomatic status testing. Disgusting. I hope the GSO [general services officer] and VIP Beijing visits can do something about this. I am so disgusted right now.
The sender responds at 11:49 a.m. the next day: “At this point, if they will insist the anal test, we would like to just go back to the States.”
Another recipient of the original “Testing Guidance” email responds on January 26: “Thanks. I am hoping for a smooth covid test and release on Friday.”
On January 26, an unidentified sender responds to the original “Test Guidance” email:
That is indeed a very strange test and first time we’ve heard as well.
Fortunately, the tests we had at the Shanghai airports was just nose swab and one at Shanghai hotel on our 14th day was just throat swab.
Do you have a good number we can call that we will definitely get a response right away once they come in for the test on Friday, January 29th? Last Friday, I tried to call 9 to 10 a.m. to be connected to anyone in the VIP visits and no one answered the office number and the mobile number same thing when we got inside the LMQC unit at 2:30 I started calling to inquire more guidelines and I was not able to talk to anyone.
The original sender of the “Test Guidance” email responds:
Thanks for confirming. Generally speaking, try calling the Embassy main line and you can ask for my extension of [redacted]. If you can’t reach me, ask for the Duty Officer of GSO secretary.
GSO isn’t setup for 24/7 call service, but if you reach a Duty Officer, you can ask for me or one of the other GSOs.
On January 27, another recipient of the “Test Guidance” email notifies his “team:”
Team – FYI. [Redacted] being asked for anal swab and environmental test. Can Housing contact [redacted]? I’ll have VIP contact FAO ASAP.
On March 4, a redacted sender emails a redacted recipient in the State Department’s VIP Visits Section under the Subject Line, “Swabs, swabs, and more swabs” (citing a Reuters article):
I hadn’t heard this rule before:
Travelers flying into Shanghai must undertake a full battery of tests including anal swabs, if more than five people on their airplane test positive for the virus, state media reported, citing one of the local CDC staff.
In response to this email, the recipient appears to email another person in the VIP Visits section about the new Chinese rule:
This is certainly different and a variation on the “close contact” rule.
VIP – please check with FAO again on this. Seems to be a CDC rule and given our history with close contacts and following hotel separations, want to make sure the MFA/FAO understand this is not acceptable for our people regardless of the reason.
The recipient of this email responds: “Just checked with Shanghai FAO, for in-bound diplomats who’re close contact to someone tested positive upon arrival, they will still quarantine in the Wyndham Hotel, but with one additional NAT test [Nucleic Acid Test].
On March 5, the VIP Visits sender emails the apparently same recipient:
Just checked with my contact from the PEK [Beijing International Capital Airport] customs. Airport only does nasal swab and throat swab. According to some Chinese social media, international travelers are required to get anal tests during centralized quarantine. It could happen on Day 3, Day 7, Day 14 or Day 21. Some people were tested once and some were twice. Samples were collected by medical staff or travelers themselves or from a fecal sample.
The recipient responds:
Thanks [redacted]. Interesting that there’s no central policy on this given all the media attention and spin. Please keep me undated if anything changes.
It took six months and a federal lawsuit to confirm that our embassy in Beijing was concerned about the Chinese government’s invasive anal swab and other COVID testing of our diplomatic personnel – at that as many as two people were asked to submit to a test. Our diplomatic personnel were harassed in a reprehensible way by the Chinese government, and the Biden administration seems to have done little in response – except to cover it up.
U.S. Invests $1.5 Mil to Help Salvadoran Police Deal with COVID-19 Stress
Joe Biden and his leftist minders don’t just have a carefree attitude toward the border. Rather, they seem intent on dismantling it. Witness their recent appointment of a new Customs and Border Protection commissioner who is a believer in sanctuary cities and whose appointment was a further blow to the already law morale of border agents.
But don’t worry about police morale. We’re taking care of that in … El Salvador. Our Corruption Chronicles blog reports on this clown show:
While local law enforcement agencies around the United States weather extensive budget cuts, the federal government is dedicating $1.5 million to assist police in El Salvador with challenges and stress created by COVID-19. The goal is to help the Central American nation’s 26,966-member National Civil Police (PNC) asses its role and capacities during a crisis and efficiently provide training to manage a public health emergency like the pandemic. “The training will particularly focus on public health orders, personal and workplace safety measures, education in regards to transmission and proper treatment, and management of operational continuity,” according to a grant announcement made public this month.
The document explains that in March 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was identified in El Salvador. With no immunity and no vaccine available to prevent infection in the impoverished country of about 6.5 million, COVID-19 has created challenges not only for the public health sector, but also for law enforcement agencies. To support Salvadoran law enforcement during the pandemic, American taxpayers will fund measures that will strengthen police programs to maintain control during lockdowns and enforce travel bans and social distancing rules. “The added support requirements created additional demands for security services and exposed police personnel to higher risk of infection,” the U.S. writes in the grant document. “In addition, because regular duties related to policing operations do not abate during the crisis, security sector personnel faced greater strain on resources and high levels of stress.”
Money for the initiative will flow through the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), which was created in the late 70s to reduce drug trafficking into the U.S. from Latin America. In fiscal year 2022 the State Department requested $456.8 million for INL programs it claims strengthen the rule of law, human rights protections, law enforcement capacity, anti-corruption activities, and other critical efforts around the globe. In this case the allocation will enhance El Salvador’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security’s capacity of preparedness for a public health crisis by efficiently providing essential public safety services, maintaining public order, and addressing additional challenges faced during such emergency. Among the requirements for grant recipients is that they identify stresses on officer wellness and police resources in the PNC, which stands for Policia National Civil in Spanish.
Back home in the U.S. police departments are enduring major budget cuts as part of a leftist movement ignited by George Floyd’s May 2020 death in Minneapolis. In the last year more than a dozen cities slashed police funding or decreased the number of officers, according to a probe conducted by a national news agency. They include the nation’s two largest cities—Los Angeles and New York—which eliminated $150 million and $1 billion respectively from their police budget. Other cities that drastically cut police funding include Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, Baltimore, Portland, Salt Lake City and Philadelphia. Washington D.C. decreased its police budget by $15 million. Predictably, there has been a rise in crime, motivating some cities to partially reverse police defunding. Even New York’s outgoing leftist mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced plans to reinstate $92 million for a new precinct and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf recently said she’ll work to reverse cuts to her city’s police department amid a spike in homicides and violence in the northern California city.
At the federal level, money keeps flowing to questionable foreign and domestic law enforcement initiatives. That includes $200,000 to advance “gender equality” in Costa Rica’s police forces by hiring more female cops. The funds also helped pay for the Central American nation’s first “institutional meeting of women leaders in gender matters” to help create a national agenda for the “empowerment of the police forces in the promotion of gender equity and prevention of gender violence in all its forms.” A few months ago a Clinton community policing program received $33 million from the government to advance a nationwide effort that includes tolerance, diversity, and anti-bias training as well as crisis intervention teams and de-escalation training. Former President Bill Clinton created the program, known as Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), to support “creative” approaches to preventing crime and promoting safe communities.
Until next week …