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Some federal employees working at the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building in San Francisco were told earlier this month to work from home “for the foreseeable future” due to the city’s crime crisis, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Chronicle reported that the United States Department of Health and Human Services advised its staff to work remotely because of safety concerns in the area surrounding the 18-story federal building on Seventh Street and Mission.
In addition to the HHS, the building contains several other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi’s office.
According to the Chronicle, the area surrounding the federal building has become a dangerous, open-air drug market.
On August 4, the HHS Assistant Secretary for Administration Cheryl R. Campbell released a memo to regional leaders advising they avoid the building and work remotely instead.
Campbell’s memo, obtained by the Chronicle, read, “In light of the conditions at the (Federal Building) we recommend employees … maximize the use of telework for the foreseeable future.”
The same day the memo was sent to HHS employees, Biden’s White House urged the administration to “aggressively execute” a plan to have federal employees end remote work and return to the office, citing “the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency,” Axios reported.
The outlet noted that it is unclear whether other employees working in the federal building were given similar instructions to those delivered to HHS staff. However, Pelosi’s office and the Department of Labor stated that they have not recommended that their employees work from home. Instead, they are actively working with local and federal law agencies to improve safety measures in the area, they told the Chronicle.
Aaron Bennett, a spokesperson for Pelosi’s office, stated, “The safety of workers in our federal buildings has always been a priority for Speaker Emerita Pelosi, whether in the building or on their commute.”
“Federal, state and local law enforcement — in coordination with public health officials and stakeholders — are working hard to address the acute crises of fentanyl trafficking and related violence in certain areas of the city,” Bennett added.
The federal General Services Administration, which maintains the federal building, assured that it is “a safe and secure space for federal employees and the visiting public.”
The GSA’s public affairs officer Richard Stebbins told the Chronicle, “There are a number of security controls GSA employs to make sure the building is safe including Federal Protective Services officers at the building and secure checkpoints.”
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Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.