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White House going to the dogs, and it’s not funny

White House going to the dogs, and it’s not funny
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The White House is facing new scrutiny as reports surface about biting incidents involving President Biden’s dogs.

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The House Education and the Workforce Committee is conducting an investigation to assess special treatment for the dogs and concerns over employee safety.

Multiple incidents involving the president’s German shepherd, Commander, biting Secret Service employees have prompted questions from the committee, chaired by Rep. Virginia Foxx, North Carolina Republican. A recent statement from the committee indicated an alarming rise in such events, with at least 24 known incidents of dog bites, highlighting a possible risk to occupational safety standards maintained for White House and Executive Office staff.



“Recently, news reports say the number of known dog-bite incidents involving the president’s dog Commander and Secret Service employees has risen to 24,” Ms. Foxx said in a letter Monday to the Labor Department’s interim secretary, Julie Su. “In light of this new information, the committee stresses that it is still concerned about the occupational safety and health program for all employees working at the White House and the Executive Office of the president.”

Injuries from these incidents have been significant in certain cases, with one Secret Service member requiring stitches. CNN suggests the number of reported bites might be higher than documented, with operational adjustments made by the Secret Service to manage the situation.

Although Mr. Biden’s other dog, Major, has also raised concerns, his actions have not escalated to the level of Commander’s aggressive behavior. Records released by the advocacy group Judicial Watch detailed additional instances of aggression that resulted in a temporary pause in public tours.

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“After one incident, East Wing public tours were stopped for approximately 20 minutes due to the blood on the floor from the attack in the area of the ‘Booksellers,’” the group said in its release. “A January 28, 2023, email chain discusses three biting incidents, ‘2 incidents today and one yesterday.’ Later that day, a Presidential Protection Division official whose name is redacted emails Senior White House Adviser Anthony Bernal that ‘Commander bit one of the Navy Staff’ who worked at Camp David.”

Ms. Foxx‘s letter raises questions about whether the White House is getting a pass on federal reporting requirements for such incidents.

“As I stated in my prior letters, the White House should not embrace an attitude of ‘rules for thee, but not for me’ when it comes to workplace safety,” the letter said.

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• Staff can be reached at 202-636-3000.





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