Director Wray Updates Workforce on COVID-19
Director Wray's message to FBI staff regarding COVID-19.
I wanted to take a few moments to talk with you some more about the COVID-19 situation.
The coronavirus has created anxiety and hardship across all corners of America--in fact, around the world. We’ve seen a whole lot of change, and a whole lot of disruption, in a remarkably short period of time. New information seems to arrive every day, if not every hour. And our public health officials predict this will get worse before it gets better. People are rightfully worried about their own health and the health of their loved ones. About their livelihood and economic loss. About when they can go back to work. About when their kids are getting back to school. About how long all of this is going to last.
All of us at the FBI share those kinds of worries.
As you know, we’ve recently issued internal protocols and guidance to address this situation, covering everything from rotating shifts, to teleworking, to workplace precautions, and more. And we did that to protect the health and safety of the FBI family; to do our part to limit the spread of the virus--to flatten the curve, as they say; to ensure we can keep charging forward in our most critical operations to protect the American people; and to ensure that we have continuity of operations, to be ready to answer the call at a moment’s notice.
A lot of dedicated employees have been contributing to this effort. I’m grateful to our Human Resources Division and our staff of medical professionals for everything they’re doing to share information and guidance. I want to thank our IT folks who are keeping us connected; our colleagues in Finance and Facilities who are providing supplies and services to protect our employees from potential exposure; our Critical Incident Response Group and the 24/7 team at SIOC, who stand ready to deploy assets when and where we need them; our International Operations Division, and all our employees and their families still operating overseas; and the FBI Police and our Security Division, continuing to work hard to keep our FBI facilities safe.
Perhaps most importantly, out on the front lines, across all 56 field offices, our leadership at every level is making the tough decisions for the good of their teams and the safety of the public we all serve. I’m seeing some of the best we have to offer, those who are leading our efforts in this changing environment, in every division, every field office, and every program.
We all play an important role in making sure the FBI stays laser-focused on our mission--to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution. As always, the country is depending on us 24/7. And with all the worry and uncertainty out there, we want the public to know that there are still things they can count on: we’re here, and we’re going to stay here, to protect them, no matter what. Because our criminal and national security adversaries sure aren’t going to take a day off--whether that’s for the coronavirus or, for that matter, anything else.
Even now, there are reports about individuals and businesses trying to exploit the coronavirus. We’ve heard about fake cures being sold online, and phishing emails posing as the CDC or the World Health Organization, just to pick a couple examples. The last thing the American people need, in the middle of this pandemic, is criminals trying to take advantage of them and profit off their concerns. That is the kind of thing we need to stay especially vigilant about. And of course, other kinds of criminals and adversaries may also seek to capitalize on this situation. And that is why we will not let our guard down.
I know our FBI family, like everyone else, has concerns about this crisis. But make no mistake, we are up to this task. The FBI is built for times like this. While none of us has ever faced a pandemic, the FBI has shown time and again its resilience in the face of unprecedented adversity. Over 111 years, we’ve built our reputation on meeting and defeating new and even historic challenges head-on. In many ways, the FBI wrote the playbook on what to do when there is no playbook. And that’s why the American people can look to us with confidence when the chips are down.
Let’s all be clear: this situation will end, and we will get through all of this, together. We may not know yet how long this will last or what the future holds--and I’m sure it’s going to be very hard at times, but I am confident in you and in your dedication to our mission.
It’s in moments like these that I’m especially proud of the resiliency of our organization. We share a commitment to protect the American people in spite of any circumstance, to do our part to limit the spread of the virus, and to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees and their families. We all made a choice to put service over self, because we understand what’s at stake and why our mission is so vital to our nation. I have full faith that we will take care of each other, will once again rise to meet the moment, and will succeed, together. I am confident that when we look back on the way we handled this difficult situation, it will be another proud chapter in our long history as an organization.
Thank you again for your professionalism and your commitment to our work.
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