Emergency Evacuation Planned
As I ask the obvious question, U.S. Working to Evacuate American Citizens From Epidemic-Stricken Chinese City
The U.S. government is working to evacuate American citizens by air from the epidemic-stricken Chinese city of Wuhan as soon as possible, according to people familiar with the effort.
The operation comes as the death toll from a newly identified coronavirus that originated in Wuhan climbs above 40 and the number of confirmed infections tops 1,300, with many of the cases in and around the central Chinese city of 11 million people. The fast spread of the disease in recent days across China and around the world, including two cases in the U.S., has raised fears of a deadly contagion.
Roughly 1,000 American citizens are thought to be in Wuhan, and the U.S. consulate there is reaching out to those it knows about to offer a seat on the plane, these people familiar with the matter said. The plane seats around 230 people, and will include diplomats from the U.S. consulate as well as Americans and their families. Those evacuated will be responsible for the cost.
China Orders Centralized Response, Taiwan Sends Tour Groups Home
Xi Jinping established a new, high-level party committee to take control of the Chinese government’s response to a deadly new virus that has quickly spread across the country and around the world, as Beijing halted overseas departures of Chinese tour groups and Hong Kong raised its epidemic alert to the highest level.
After staying largely silent in public about the outbreak since it first emerged in central China last month, Mr. Xi on Saturday convened a special meeting of the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, calling for a more centralized response to the epidemic and asserting personal responsibility in addressing the crisis.
- Beijing halted overseas departures of Chinese tour groups.
- Hong Kong raised its epidemic alert to the highest level.
- China announced further restrictions on the movement of its people, banning private vehicles from the streets of central Wuhan.
- Taiwan will refuse entry to tour groups and immediately send back any such tour groups that were already in Taiwan.
The economic impact to China will be severe. This is right at the peak of the Chinese new year celebration.
Wuhan, population 11 million, is shut down. Private vehicles are banned.
Three Key Questions
- After the emergency evacuation takes place, should Trump ban incoming planes from China?
- Should we send back any individuals or tour groups already here?
- Should the people on the emergency evacuation be quarantined?
Question of the Day
Mike "Mish' Shedlock