Bomb threat cuts short Second Gentleman's Black History event at DC school

Washington DC — Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, was abruptly pulled from an event at a Washington DC high school on Tuesday after officials received a report of a bomb threat, authorities said.

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff (r.) was evacuated from a school on Tuesday, as his wife Vice President Kamala Harris (l.) has also faced numerous safety risks while in office.
Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff (r.) was evacuated from a school on Tuesday, as his wife Vice President Kamala Harris (l.) has also faced numerous safety risks while in office.  © IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

The Black History Month event at Dunbar High School, which was attended by reporters and at least three high school staff members, lasted about five minutes.

That’s when a Secret Service agent turned to Emhoff and said, "We have to go." Agents quickly hustled the second gentleman out of the room. Within a few minutes, students and teachers were also ordered to evacuate.

A spokesperson for the Washington public schools confirmed that the incident was sparked by a bomb threat. Students were released about 30 minutes before the school day ended.

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A White House official said Emhoff is safe, but could not say where the second gentleman was taken after the evacuation. His spokesperson did not immediately return a phone call and text message seeking comment.

Tuesday's incident follows a series of bomb threats that targeted and shut down at least 16 historically Black colleges and universities last week, on the first days of Black History Month.

Emhoff's evacuation underscores the potential safety risks faced by top White House officials, especially Harris, who is the first woman and first Black person to become vice president. She is among the top targets of online harassment, and in March, a man carrying a gun and ammunition was arrested outside the official residence she shares with her husband.

Harris was evacuated from the Democratic National Committee after police found a pipe bomb planted near the building in the hours before the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol.

Emhoff was involved in a 2019 incident during the presidential primary when he helped to remove an animal rights protester who jumped onstage during an event and grabbed Harris’ microphone.

Tuesday's alarming occurrence is the first known time a member of the second family had to be evacuated due to a security threat since taking office.

Cover photo: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

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