Fox 35: Central Florida lawmakers step in to help TSA agents infected with COVID-19

April 14, 2020
In The News

Some Central Florida lawmakers are demanding that something be done to keep Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents safe from the coronavirus at Orlando International Airport.

A dozen TSA agents are now infected with COVID-19.

Lawmakers say enough is enough. 

They sent a letter to the Transportation Security Administration’s leader saying safeguards for officers have been insufficient and need to improve.

The letter is from Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, Congresswoman Val Demings and Congressman Darren Soto.

Andrea Silas was the first TSA agent to become sick from COVID-19.

We asked her what she thought of lawmakers stepping in.

"I’m actually happy about that," she said. "I really would like to see my coworkers and friends protected."

The lawmakers are requesting to make it mandatory for TSA agents to wear masks and gloves.

A TSA spokesperson says they plan to respond to lawmakers, but says "the TSA remains committed to the health and safety of our workforce."

The spokesperson also said that employees have had the option of wearing masks and gloves, which have been provided since the beginning of the pandemic, saying there’s no shortage of supplies.

The lawmakers would also like to see hazard pay for agents.

They also question why the TSA website doesn’t provide data about infected officers from OIA.

Andrea says Orlando International Airport should be shut down.

FOX 35 News asked Congressman Soto what he thinks.

"I agree that we should shut down domestic travel of a public nature," he said. "But, there is travel of essential jobs still being functioned right now."  

Andrea continues to recover. It’s been almost a month.

"It’s making it a little hard to go back to work because the breathing issues aren’t completely gone," she said.

The lawmakers expect to hear from TSA officials in a week.