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Evacuees from Wuhan to California at start of pandemic ‘were met by unprepared US officials’

Americans evacuated from Wuhan to California at start of pandemic ‘were NOT told to wear masks and were met by unprepared US officials’, damning investigation finds

  • There was no infection control plan in place when the first American evacuees arrived back in the US from China at the start of the epidemic, a report found
  •  The first 200 evacuees landed at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County on January 29 last year, and were not told to wear masks
  • Health officials at a California military base were even told to remove protective gear to avoid ‘bad optics’

The first Americans who were evacuated from coronavirus epicenter Wuhan at the start of the pandemic were met by ‘unprepared’ US officials with no infection control training, a damning federal investigation has found.

Health officials at a California military base were even told to remove protective gear to avoid ‘bad optics’, according to reviews by the Health and Human Services Department and an investigation overseen by the Office of Special Counsel.

Evacuees arriving in the US as they fled the virus in China were not told to wear masks and there was no plan in place to stop the spread of the virus, the Washington Post reports. 

The first 200 evacuees landed at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County on January 29 last year.

The health officials who may have been exposed later left the base and boarded commercial flights to other parts of the country.

A team in white biohazard suits watch as some of the approximately 200 passengers walk to waiting buses upon arriving on a charter flight from Wuhan, China, at March Air Reserve Base

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