US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, … [+]
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Toplines: During the daily White House briefing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shared that the State Department has repatriated 50,000 Americans stranded by lockdowns in countries abroad since January 29.
- The 50,000 were brought back to the United States from 90 different countries across 490 flights, and Pompeo said more people would likely have to be repatriated until they’re able to travel on their own.
- “This worldwide scale of our repatriations is without parallel in our lifetimes,” Pompeo said.
- On March 20, the 55-member U.S. women’s football team was airlifted out of Honduras after the country announced its borders would close for a week.
- While domestic airliners are assisting in the repatriations, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and ranking member Michael McCaul (R-Texas) on Wednesday sent a letter to American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines requesting they further help the State Department “to the fullest extent” as requests come in from “increasingly distant locales with complex flight logistical requirements.”
- Travel advisories from the State Department for Americans to return home as the coronavirus began to spread reportedly came later than similar warnings and repatriations from other countries, according to the New York Times, leaving more citizens under lockdown in foreign countries.
Key Background: There are now 1.5 million cases of the coronavirus worldwide, with 88,338 reported deaths. According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. leads the world with 429,052 cases of the coronavirus, representing about 28% of total cases. According to Agence France-Presse, about a third of the world’s population is under some form of lockdown.