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Xi subjects U.S. Diplomats to Anal Swabs, How could U.S. Diplomats stoop so low?

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How could U.S. Diplomats stoop so low?

Jan 25, 2021 Update. Judicial Watch: Records Confirm Chinese Government ‘Anal Swab’ COVID Testing of U.S. Diplomatic Personnel JUDICIAL WATCH

Judicial Watch announced today that it received 11 pages of records from the U.S. Department of State revealing that U.S. diplomatic officials in China objected to being asked to submit to anal swab COVID testing by the Chinese government. The redacted documents show that at least one U.S. employee was given an anal swab test for COVID “at his apartment.”

Judicial Watch obtained the records in response to a Freedom of Information Act (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)). This lawsuit was filed 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 22, 2021, a redacted general services officer from the U.S. Consulate General in Shenyang sent an email with the subject “New Testing Method?”:

So, a colleague from [redacted] telling our group [redacted] that he was given an anal COVID swab at his apartment. Just a heads up, as I am sure it is going to blow up soon… if you aren’t already dealing with it. Employee’s name is [redacted]. Just getting ahead before the word of mouth starts spreading.

A redacted official responds:

In what city did this occur? And what number test? And did he say if they gave any notice beforehand the test would be conducted in this manner? And was he presented with options.

A redacted official responds:

-Beijing
-He is in his apartment as part of the +7 (from my understanding)
-No notice or options as I can tell
-He had to do both a nose and anal swab

Also on January 22, 2021, a management officer in the U.S. Consulate in Shenyang, whose name is redacted, sent an email with the subject “RE: No Anal swabs for diplomats.”

FAO [foreign area office] is telling the Embassy that it was a mistake to ask for anal swabs and that it didn’t apply to diplomats. TBD how [redacted] will play it, but for now we’ll have to tell people they don’t have to do it. Reportedly you do it yourself in private so not as bad as I envisioned.

In a January 26, 2021, email regarding the anal COVID tests, a redacted U.S. official writes:

I hope the GSO [general services office] and VIP Beijing visits can do something about this.

In a January 27, 2021, email labeled with the subject line “COVID TEST 21ST DAY Hedeliza and Efren Balisi,” is marked “Importance: High,” a redacted U.S. official writes:

Team – FYI, [redacted] being asked for anal swab and environmental test. Can Housing contact [redacted]. I’ll have VIP contact FAO ASAP.

A redacted official writes on January 27, 2021:

I have asked [redacted] to contact [redacted] immediately regarding the anal swab and environmental testing. He is calling them now.

A redacted official on January 27, 2021, responds:

Please contact the [redacted]. [Redacted] turned off the anal swab, and indicated that we are fine with and oral or nasal swab. He also turned off the inside the apartment environmental testing as I protested both of those items.

On May 5, 2021, a redacted official writes to [email protected] with the subject line “Beijing PCS Arrival and Quarantine Questions:”

Hi. [Redacted] I’m planning to arrive in country in early August. What do we need to be aware of for planning purposes? Are we able to fly into Beijing directly? Someone mentioned that we have to fly into another city. We currently have reservations for Beijing, so we wanted to check before having the tickets issued.

We’ve been hearing a lot of horror stories about the quarantine in China. Unfortunately, the monthly newcomers call [redacted] land the calls aren’t recorded, so we can’t even hear the answers to others questions via a recording of the calls. So I hope you don’t mind us asking our questions to you directly. We’ve had some conversations with the CLO and their office referred us to you for more specifics.

We have been talking with a number of [redacted] in China or those that recently left. We’ve heard a lot of horror stories about the quarantine upon arrival. We’ve heard about older children being separate from families during the quarantine, anal swab testing and real violations of diplomatic norms. Others have reported they were crammed in rooms with inadequate bedding- i.e. two twin beds for a family of four- and sub-par conditions bordering on detention center level living. It seems like diplomats and their families are not being treated according to acceptable norms. The escalation of the PRC’s violations of diplomatic protections seems particularly concerning….

A redacted official responds:

Please note that Chinese travel, COVID testing, quarantine, and other regulations are tightly controlled by the PRC and there is little flexibility in the process. The U.S. Embassy Beijing and China Desk in Washington have continually been engaged with our Chinese counterparts in all facets of the process. The VIP and Travel teams here at the embassy continually monitor the regulations and provide the best guidance to our travelers possible while supporting a large volume of diplomatic personnel and their families as they navigate the process. I’ve attached our Beijing travel handbook for general reference.

The following talking points are designed to try to address your questions below:

We have successfully brought back 140 diplomatic staff and families to Beijing on commercial air travel since October 2020 with many more in the pipeline. Over 1,200 people returned to Mission China after evacuation in 2020 amidst uncertain circumstances. I can’t directly respond to the “horror stories” you are referring to, but would encourage you to take social media posts and information from non-official channels with a grain of salt. We have had many families successfully navigate the testing and quarantine procedures with safe travel to Beijing….

***

The quarantine hotel policies in China are strict and not flexible: under the current regulations, unfortunately, children ages 14 and up will need to quarantine in a separate hotel room for the initial14 days of quarantine in Shanghai. Upon final arrival in Beijing, the goal is for the family to do the 3rd week of quarantine together in your diplomatic residence. If you have medical concerns about this process or have special family needs, I highly encourage you to contact the Beijing Health Unit for guidance and consultation.

For children under 14, each child can share a room with a parent in likely a double or queen sized bed at the [redacted] I am unfamiliar with the twin bed concerns and we have not seen that with the hotels in Shanghai or Beijing.

***

While in quarantine, most travelers don’t have a need to contact the Embassy directly other than to schedule the onward travel from Shanghai. That said, if there is a medical or other emergency, the U.S. Consulate Shanghai is well aware of travelers in quarantine and able to assist should a crisis arise.

There are no means for U.S. government or any non-PRC CDC or Customs personnel to have contact with you at the airport or hotel. Until you have completed the testing and quarantine regimen, regrettably there are no means for interpersonal interaction with USG representatives. Both the airport and hotel have successfully brought in thousands of expatriate personnel in the pandemic era and the processes are well known by all parties and relatively smooth.

Anal swabs and “environmental testing” inside USG residences are not permitted for diplomatic staff. This acknowledgement of diplomatic rights has been confirmed repeatedly by MFA and FAO. If there is an attempt to conduct such a test, the traveler is fully within their rights to refuse testing and contact the Embassy.

I understand some of these answers may not be what you were hoping for, but I wanted to provide direct, honest guidance based on the PRC policies and situation here. If you have continued concerns, I highly recommend discussing with your gaining office management and/or appropriate personnel in Washington.

Please note that the PRC travel, quarantine, hotel, and testing policies can and do change regularly with no warning and immediate effect. The guidance above is designed to give you an idea of the current landscape, but this is always subject to change as we’ve seen many times before. Please remain in contact with the Beijing VIP team on the latest guidance and we look forward to welcoming you and your family to Beijing in the future.

“These documents detail confirm abuse of US diplomatic personnel by the Chinese government,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Biden administration doesn’t seem to have done much about this abusive anal swab testing other than pretend it didn’t happen and cover it up.”

In December 2021, Judicial Watch received records from the State Department showing at as many as two people were either asked or required to take an anal test for COVID by the Chinese government. One unidentified general services officer wrote:

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.***

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.

On January 27, a State Department official sends an email with the subject line  “COVID TEST 21ST DAY”:

AT this point, if they will insist [upon] the anal test, we would like to just go back to the States.

Another comment in the email chain reads:

Team – FYI. [Redacted] being asked for anal swab and environmental test. Can Housing contact [redacted]? I’ll have VIP contact FAO ASAP.

BACKGROUND

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 emailsto 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. 

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