President Donald Trump was furious that 14 Americans infected with the coronavirus returned to the United States without his permission rather than remain in quarantine overseas. Full Story
President Donald Trump was furious that 14 Americans infected with the coronavirus returned to the United States without his permission rather than remain in quarantine overseas, according to a new report.
Trump had been briefed that the healthy U.S. passengers who spent weeks quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan would be allowed to fly home on two chartered planes — while those who were sick or infected would stay in Japan to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
The president became “furious” with senior advisers after learning the 14 Americans who tested positive had been put on a plane with healthy passengers, according to The Washington Post. One official told the paper that the failure to inform Trump of the decision in advance of the plane’s departure was a “big operational mistake.”
Trump complained that bringing home the infected Americans could damage the administration’s response to the global health outbreak.
While the Americans evacuated from the ship were on buses on the tarmac in Tokyo, U.S. officials got the results back that 14 had tested positive for COVID-19 but had not yet shown symptoms. Officials made the decision to have them fly home anyway, but “isolated” from the other passengers on the plane.
“These individuals were moved in the most expeditious and safe manner to a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircraft to isolate them in accordance with standard protocol,” the State Department and Department of Health and Human Services said in a joint statement Monday.
The infected passengers were to be isolated for medical care upon arriving back in the United States.