First Wuhan evacuees arriving in California have been met by ill-prepared US workers: report

When practically 200 evacuees from Wuhan, China, arrived in California final January, the U.S. well being officers and workers who greeted them had nearly no plan for ensuring they didn’t unfold the coronavirus to Americans, a federal investigation discovered, in line with a report.

The Chinese nationals – from the reputed epicenter of the pandemic – weren’t even instructed to put on masks as soon as they arrived Jan. 29, 2020, at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, The Washington Post reported.

In addition, the U.S. well being officers who met with the coming evacuees from China have been instructed to not put on protecting gear themselves, to keep away from “dangerous optics,” the investigators discovered, in line with the Post.

Those well being officers later left California aboard industrial airline flights to different cities across the U.S., in line with the report.


The findings come from two federal opinions – one by the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) and the opposite by the Office of Special Counsel — that have been prompted by a whistleblower grievance, the report mentioned.

​​​​​​Customers stand in a spaced line as they wait to purchase pork in Wuhan, China, on March 18, 2020. (Associated Press)

The experiences word, nonetheless, that not one of the Wuhan evacuees examined optimistic for the coronavirus and “an infection transmission apparently didn’t happen from the deployment,” in line with the Post.

In addition, Robert Charrow, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump to function normal counsel at HHS, defended the division’s actions on the time, claimed HHS was “blindsided” by the sudden evacuation from Wuhan and acted shortly to repair any issues that appeared on the outset.

“Were issues corrected instantly? The reply is sure,” Charrow instructed the Post.

Robert Charrow. 

Providing protecting gear was among the many corrective measures taken, he mentioned.

The Washington Post additionally experiences that the company assigned to just accept the Wuhan evacuees – the federal Administration for Children and Families, which usually assists after pure disasters – hadn’t been skilled for coping with infectious illness conditions.


Ultimately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quarantined the brand new arrivals from Wuhan for 2 weeks – the primary obligatory quarantine from the company in additional than 50 years – as federal officers labored to achieve management of the state of affairs, the Post reported.

The CDC steering included orders for well being staff on the base to start carrying protecting gear.

By the time a second group of Wuhan evacuees arrived in California on Feb. 5 — one week after the primary group — staffers at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County had obtained correct coaching and gear, the HHS report mentioned, in line with the Post.

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