No, the White House tours have not been reinstated. But the Obamas are taking a jaunt to South Africa and Tansania, and yes, taxpayers are picking up the tab. One that is estimated to run from $60 to $100 million, according to a report by the Washington Post.
There is a price to keeping the president safe, from hundreds of Secret Service agents to an aircraft carrier with a fully equipped hospital stationed nearby in case of an emergency. According to the Post:
Military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay. Fighter jets will fly in shifts, giving 24-hour coverage over the president’s airspace, so they can intervene quickly if an errant plane gets too close.
In addition, 80 to 100 additional agents will be flown in to work rotating shifts, with round-the-clock coverage, for Obama’s and his family’s security details, counterassault teams and logistics coordinators.
The costs were outlined in a confidential document obtained by the Post. While all trips for the president constitute a logistical challenge, hitting three sub-Saharan African countries mean that the U.S. basically provides all security needed.
Some of the extra costs include an security detail and vehicles for the first lady’s events on her own during the week, the planning document shows. She toured South Africa and Botswana without the president in 2011.
The good news is, they have canceled the safari that was initially on the schedule. Must be in solidarity with the White House tours that still haven’t been reinstated. Everyone has to sacrifice something, after all. Instead, they will be visiting Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner.
Click here to read the entire report via the Washington Post or watch the video below.
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