More than 1,000 U.S. citizens were trapped in Wuhan when the area was locked down during the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). After negotiations between the United States and China, the U.S. started to evacuate its citizens from the epicenter. Later on, other countries followed suit to evacuate their citizens.
Radio France Internationale (RFI) posted two stories on February 3 revealing details that took place during the U.S. evacuation from Wuhan. The evacuation was initiated and executed by the State Department. Initially, the landing of the chartered flight was confirmed at San Francisco International Airport.
On January 28, the flight was expected to land at Ontario International Airport, about 38 miles (61 km) east of Downtown Los Angeles. On January 29, it was reported that the chartered flight had changed its flight plans to land at the March Air Reserve Base, quite a distance away from Downtown Los Angeles.
What happened to change the destination of the flight? On January 30, a U.S.-based Chinese media revealed that the local Chinese American residents in San Francisco and Los Angeles strongly opposed the landing near their area, claiming that they would take action against it at the airport, despite there being 30 Chinese Americans and 20 children among the 201 passengers.
The article stated that the U.S. government would be unwilling to see a protest against the flight, so the landing spot had to be changed. A protest against the landing of an evacuation flight would be unlikely to happen in American mainstream society, but it happened in the community of Chinese Americans.
On January 29, one Boeing 747-100 flight landed at March Air Reserve Base, carrying passengers that were trapped in Wuhan. As the chartered flight landed, an American-Chinese woman said that as soon as she stepped down from the plane, she saw the medical staff waiting for them with kind-looking faces, making her feel relaxed and secure.
One American-Chinese pilot, Ding Yu-lin, was responsible for flying the chartered flight. He knew the reasons behind the two changes to the landing spot, and sighed, saying that these American Chinese are selfish and disappointing.
The other story is that the chartered flight that the U.S. sent was a Boeing 747-400 cargo plane. Some of the Chinese officials and Chinese people on the Internet laughed about it. However, sending the cargo plane for evacuation was planned to deliver necessary goods and supplies to Wuhan first and pick up the citizens later.
This Boeing 747-400 cargo plane was fully loaded and departed from Chicago. The value of the goods came to a total of 2.81 million Chinese Yuan, and the cargo included medical protective clothing, masks, and gloves. Since the cargo plane could not offer hot meals, the passengers ate cold food onboard. The cargo plane was meant to deliver the necessary goods to the epicenter, and the U.S. officials have never explained the reason.
The two stories regarding the U.S. evacuation of its citizens showed a negative side to the Chinese American community. As the disaster continues, the main thinking of people, whether positive or negative, is being revealed.
The massive outbreak of the novel coronavirus came about because the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) initially concealed the epidemic and now it is spreading worldwide. The U.S. government offered support at the start.
Up until February 2, 2020, there have been 188 foreign businesses donating to China, adding up to US$1.1 billion dollars, including businesses from the U.S., Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, and the UK. The U.S businesses have donated US$279 million, making them the most generous donors.
Translated by Sharon L and edited by Helen