The Trump administration risked infecting an entire flight full of healthy people this week when the State Department transported 14 Americans infected with the deadly coronavirus back to the United States over the objections of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The CDC warned against bringing the 14 Americans home on the flight because coronavirus has already spread rapidly and has killed over 2,000 people, with most of the deaths occurring in China. Overall, more than 70,000 are infected worldwide, including in the United States.
The Americans contracted the virus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.
The fact is that air travel makes it easier for pandemics to spread because those infected can pass the virus to others within the close quarters of a plane. Those people then disperse throughout airports and to cities across the country and around the globe.
This means the State Department really should have flown these Americans home on a private plane instead of recklessly flying them home with a group of healthy passengers.
“The State Department and some Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials decided to allow it while the CDC objected, warning of the risk of the disease spreading on the plane,” according to The Hill. “The plane did have a plastic-lined enclosure that allowed the 14 people with the virus to be separated from the others.”
But that simply was not good enough, and the CDC objected so strongly that it demanded to be removed from a press release from the State Department and HHS insisting that all is well.
“These individuals were moved in the most expeditious and safe manner to a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircraft to isolate them in accordance with standard protocols,” the statement said. “Every precaution to ensure proper isolation and community protection measures are being taken, driven by the most up-to-date risk assessments by U.S. health authorities.”
Of course, we all know that the Trump administration does not put much stock in science, so it’s hard to believe that the State Department under Mike Pompeo handled this situation with the proper precautions.
The CDC clearly knows what it is doing when it comes to deadly viruses, so our government should have listened to them instead of risking the further spread of the coronavirus.
Featured image via screen capture
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