Feds Pledge Better Communication with Local Leaders About China Evacuees
MoVal Mayor Tells Officials Landing at MARB Took City by Surprise
For immediate release: January 31, 2020
At a briefing today for local leaders by federal officials regarding the evacuation of Americans from China due to the spread of the new coronavirus, Moreno Valley Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez made it clear that he, the City Council and residents were not pleased to be notified just hours before the flight landed at March Air Reserve Base (MARB).
Federal officials said that the decision to reroute the flight from Ontario International Airport came down from the Secretary of the Air Force as the plane was in the air and that local officials were notified as soon as possible.
For the past two days, Mayor Gutierrez has also been contacting federal officials, including members of Congress, to convey the sense of unease and confusion many Moreno Valley residents have felt about the last-minute decision to land at MARB.
"We understand that these fellow Americans had to be brought home safely, and we're glad no one has so far exhibited virus symptoms," explained Mayor Gutierrez. "But we learned about the decision from the news, and that's not right. I just wanted to make it crystal clear that the residents and leadership of Moreno Valley expect better communication from federal officials going forward."
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