Story of Diplomacy
When European countries closed their borders to stop the spread of COVID-19, few airports remained open or maintained regular flights to the United States.
Our nation’s diplomats are serving on the front lines of the global COVID-19 pandemic as international first responders, as they have for 200 years. Their priority is to protect American citizens abroad during crises and bring them home or repatriate them if needed. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo initiated the social media hashtag #AmericansHome to signal his support for these heroic behind-the-scenes efforts. As of June 1, 2020, the State Department has repatriated more than 98,000 American citizens during the pandemic.
During the outbreak of COVID-19, the dedicated public servants in ECA ensured American exchange participants could safely return home. With the support of non-governmental cooperating organizations, regional bureaus, U.S. embassies, and Fulbright Commissions abroad, ECA’s staff has successfully repatriated more than 3,500 American participants of ECA exchange programs. ECA established its own COVID-19 task force on March 11, 2020, to coordinate the bureau’s efforts and facilitate charter flights from all over the world.