Trump backs off plan to house coronavirus patients in Alabama after GOP objections

The Trump administration is backing off a plan to house some coronavirus patients in Alabama after state officials objected to the move.

President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver dead at 77 Biden, Democrats losing ground with independent and suburban voters: poll Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law MORE "called to assure me that this plan will not move forward," Alabama Gov. Kay IveyKay IveyGOP governors press Biden administration for control of infrastructure implementation How to hold unvaccinated Americans accountable Alabama to invest M to train students for tourism workforce MORE (R) tweeted on Sunday. "We always want to help our fellow Americans, but this wasn’t fully vetted."

 

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Alabama officials pushed back over the weekend on the proposal to house some American passengers with coronavirus in Anniston, Ala., after they were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was previously under quarantine in Japan.

"The FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama, was one site determined to be suitable and effective, but is not needed at this time," according to a statement released Sunday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Alabama lawmakers had objected strongly to the idea, which Ivey said she heard about on Friday.

“Sensing the urgency, I quickly informed the offices of Senators Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Negotiators report progress toward 2022 spending deal Johnson, Thune signal GOP's rising confidence MORE (R) and Doug Jones (D) and Congressman Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersWashington's playing with a weak hand in the Ukraine crisis House GOP members introduce legislation targeting Russia over Ukraine Corporations seek to rebuild bridges with GOP objectors ahead of midterms MORE (R), as well as Dr. Scott Harris with the Alabama Department of Public Health," she said in a statement reported by local outlets. 

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By Sunday, Shelby had spoken directly to President Trump.

"I just got off the phone with the President. He told me that his administration will not be sending any victims of the Coronavirus from the Diamond Princess cruise ship to Anniston, Alabama. Thank you, @POTUS, for working with us to ensure the safety of all Alabamians," he tweeted

Rogers also spoke with Trump, according to USA Today. According to Rogers, Trump said the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) plan was the "wrong decision."

"On Saturday, it appears that a press release from HHS was inadvertently, and perhaps prematurely, sent notifying the State of Alabama that these individuals were scheduled to begin transporting to Alabama as early as Wednesday," Ivey said.

Eighteen American passengers who were aboard the cruise ship were diagnosed with coronavirus, according to USA Today. Those who were evacuated last week were divided up and are now under quarantine in Nebraska, Texas and California.