The flights come about a week after the first US government-arranged flight left Wuhan. That first chartered plane, carrying nearly 200 US citizens — including diplomats and their families — arrived January 29 at March Air Reserve Base in Southern California.
California father waits to reunite with wife and children
San Diego resident Kenneth Burnett hopes that his wife and two children will be on one of Tuesday’s flights, he told CNN on Monday.
His wife, Yanjun Wei, 3-year-old son Rowan, and 1-year-old daughter Mia have been holed up in a high-rise apartment in Wuhan. He was supposed to join them there to celebrate the Chinese New Year, but the outbreak shut the city down, he said.
“It’s terrifying. It is very dramatic to shut down (an area) of 50 million people. You think to yourself, if that can happen what else can happen?” Burnett said.
The three were tentatively booked on an evacuation flight out, he said, after he contacted the State Department and the US Embassy in China for help. The children are US citizens; his wife is due to take her citizenship exam this month.
“We think my wife and kids will get seats, but they basically they won’t guarantee anything. They’ll say maybe the Chinese authorities won’t allow it. We know that other countries have not had some of these problems. We feel like other countries haven’t felt this problem,” he said.
Unions call for feds to engage their groups
The White House last week announced the formation of a coronavirus task force.
Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents nearly 50,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines, issued a list of demands for the federal government and argued the Trump administration needs to do more to combat the outbreak.
Nelson said she wants the government to engage unions and associations, convene workgroups, issue uniform guidance across industries and distribute materials and supplies to stakeholders.
CNN has reached out to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Transportation for comment on the unions’ concerns.
CNN’s Steven Jiang reported from Beijing; Jason Hanna wrote in Atlanta. Geneva Sands, Christina Maxouris, Madeline Holcombe, Marnie Hunter and Lucy Kafanov contributed to this report.