Trump furious after officials allowed Americans with coronavirus to fly home with other passengers: report
President Trump grew enraged with senior advisers this week when 14 Americans who had tested positive for the coronavirus returned to the U.S. after he had been granted assurances that infected patients would remain in quarantine overseas.
Trump and his coronavirus task force were told last weekend that Americans who had been in quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise liner, where the virus had spread, would be brought home, but that those who had symptoms would remain in Japan.
However, the administration ultimately decided to bring back the 14 Americans who tested positive for the virus and place them in isolation without telling the president.
Administration officials told The Washington Post that Trump learned of the reversal after the fact and was furious that he was not first consulted, reportedly fearing the move could affect the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
Trump reportedly complained to his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, Domestic Policy Council director Joseph Grogan and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar about the change and has since made calls to an array of officials to say he should have been briefed on the decision.
The 14 Americans who tested positive for the coronavirus were also reportedly returned home despite objections from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)
The plane did have a plastic-lined enclosure that allowed the 14 people with the virus to be separated from the others, the State Department and HHS said.
“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 protocols,” the departments said a statement. “Every precaution to ensure proper isolation and community protection measures are being taken, driven by the most up-to-date risk assessments by U.S. health authorities.”
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