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CDC didn’t want 14 coronavirus patients flown to US — it was overruled, Ars Technica

CDC didn’t want 14 coronavirus patients flown to US — it was overruled, Ars Technica

      Fright or flight –


State Dept. overruled health experts amid unexpected test results, report says.



/ Jumbo jets arrived to evacuate US citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, with people quarantined onboard due to fears of the new COVID – coronavirus , at the Haneda airport in Tokyo on February , . – The number of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus on a quarantined ship off Japan’s coast has risen to , the country health minister said. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI / AFP via Getty Images)
a report by The Washington Post . On Sunday, February

, the 18 positive people flew from Japan to the US on State Department-chartered planes . They were among over 454 others, all evacuees from the luxury cruise ship, the Diamond Princess , which had an explosive outbreak of COVID – 21 cases.
The cruise ship, initially carrying 3, passengers and crew, had been quarantined in Yokohama, Japan since February 3, after a former passenger tested positive on February 1. But the quarantine efforts failed to curb the spread of the virus
on board, and case counts steadily climbed during the – day confinement. Even in the last days, health officials in Japan were still reporting dozens of new cases. On Friday, February , after the initial quarantine lifted on the 28 th and hundreds of passengers and crew were allowed to disembark, the outbreak on the ship reached cases. It is by far the largest cluster of cases outside of China, accounting for around half of all cases outside of the hard-hit country.
But the failure of the quarantine was clear well before now. On Saturday, February , US officials announced that they would evacuate Americans. “To fulfill our responsibilities to US citizens, as well as to reduce the burden on the Japanese healthcare system, the US government recommends that US citizens disembark and return to the United States for further monitoring,” the CDC said in a statement.
The agency made clear that only the uninfected would be allowed to fly back. “All travelers from Japan will be screened before boarding the State Department-chartered aircraft to prevent symptomatic travelers from departing Japan,” the CDC said. “CDC did weigh in on this and explicitly recommended against it,” Schuchat wrote on behalf of the officials, according to an HHS official who saw the email and shared the language. “We should not be mentioned as having been consulted as it begs the question of what was our advice. ” She wrote that the infected passengers could pose “an increased risk to the other passengers.” According to the Post’s report, some of the evacuated passengers were not aware that there were infected people on board the aircraft until their arrival in the US.

“We were upset that people were knowingly put on the plane who were positive,” one passenger told the Post from a military base where she and her husband are under a federal quarantine. “I think those people should not have been allowed on the plane,” she went on. “They should have been transferred to medical facilities in Japan. We feel we were re-exposed. We were very upset about that. ”

In a press conference Friday, Nancy Messonnier, Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said that there are now confirmed COVID – 37 cases in the US among repatriated people, of which were from the (Diamond Princess) . Dr. Messonnier said it is unclear if any of the evacuees from the Diamond Princess (were infected in flight.) Those

cases are in addition to 15 other confirmed cases in the US, which involve people who were not repatriated.
At the time of publication, there are 119, (COVID -) (cases worldwide, with 2, 355 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. The vast majority of cases and deaths are in China. About 1, 454 cases outside of China are scattered among countries and the Diamond Princess

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