Teresa Hanafin writes the Fast Forward daily column for the Boston Globe.

She writes today:

Even as the Ukraine scandal whistle-blower continues to suffer insults, vilification, and threats from Republicans desperate to protect Trump at all costs, a woman who is a top Health and Human Services official has stepped forward to raise an alarm about a coronavirus-related situation.

Talk about [big ovaries] guts.

The official reported that a dozen HHS workers dispatched to two California Air Force bases to meet the first Americans evacuated from China were sent without proper protective gear or training about infection control. Meanwhile, personnel who were there from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were in “full gown, gloves and hazmat attire,” her complaint states.

After the HHS workers finished helping the Americans, they returned to work, some taking commercial airline flights home or back to their offices. They weren’t tested for the virus because at the time, the federal government’s criteria for testing was bizarrely restrictive: You had to have gone to China, been in close contact with someone confirmed to be infected, or exhibit symptoms yourself.

When the official brought the break in protocol and her concerns about the workers’ safety to the attention of her superiors, they did what many Trump loyalists do: They apparently tried to punish her by reassigning her to an area in which she has no expertise, with no workers to supervise, and told if she didn’t accept the assignment, she’d be fired, according to her lawyer.

So she filed a whistle-blower complaint with the Office of the Special Counsel, an independent federal watchdog agency, and now HHS officials are scrambling to explain.

Meanwhile, the head of the World Health Organization said this morning that the coronavirus outbreak — it has now infected more than 80,000 people in nearly 50 countries, with close to 2,800 deaths — is at a “decisive point” and could soon become a pandemic.

That designation would come about if scientists and doctors see a long chain of transmissions — community-wide outbreaks — outside of China. Although people in many countries are infected, the kind of community spread that would signal a pandemic hasn’t yet occurred outside of China.

But investors around the world are worried, and global financial markets are taking a big hit. By the way, every Disney theme park and property in Asia is closed.

As they say in Mar-a-Lago, Ignorance is Bliss, and Vengeance is Divine.