CNN just published a report that includes several statements and conditions of Americans in Lebanon. These US Citizens are refusing the offer to go back home in light of the COVID-19 crisis, stating that they prefer to stay in Lebanon.
With the rapidly increasing number of cases in the US and the almost stabilized situation in Lebanon, most of US citizens felt that they would be safer in Lebanon.
CNN spoke to Carly Fuglei, a 28-year-old humanitarian consultant from Montana, who said: “I made the decision for a combination of personal reasons and calculations about the virus that we’re all making. I think that I am probably safer here.”
The same decision, according to the report, was also taken by many American citizens in Beirut due to the number of cases in the US that reached 454,615 as for Thursday, April 9th, with a total of 16,074 deaths.
“When the US government last week said it would fly its citizens and permanent residents to the US on a chartered flight for $2,500 per person,” CNN wrote, “some Americans took to Twitter to publicly decline the offer.”
One of the citizens who declared not going back to the US is Abby Sewell, a Beirut-based freelance journalist. She told CNN that she never considered taking the US embassy’s offer due to numerous reasons, one of which is health care issues.
Sewell explained that since she has been working outside of the US for years, she now does not have health insurance back home. “If I did go back and then got sick, I would be looking at paying thousands of dollars out of pocket.”
Daryn Howland, a 27-year-old consultant from Boston living in Beirut, told CNN that she and all her American friends have decided to stay in Lebanon and that, despite all the political and economic issues, it is for once safer here than in America.
Noting that 95 US citizens in Lebanon accepted the repatriation offer and the US embassy flew them back to America on April 5th. The US State Department official announced that their citizens’ well being is their number one priority right now.
According to the CNN report, “It is estimated that thousands of Americans live in Lebanon — many of whom also hold Lebanese citizenship.”
So far, thanks to the firm grip of Lebanon on the lockdown measures, and the cooperation of the majority of the Lebanese across the country to self-quarantine, the health sector has avoided “the pandemonium seen in many other countries ravaged by the virus,” as described by CNN.
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