ANNISTON, Alabama (WDEF) – After political pressure going all the way to the White House, health officials have cancelled a plan to bring coronavirus victims to northeast Alabama.
The Department of Health and Human Services dropped the idea on Monday.
They were considering bringing infected passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship to a FEMA Center in Anniston. (Anniston is about 2 hours south of Chattanooga near the GA/AL line)
But today, HHS officials called the Saturday announcement “premature.”
On Sunday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said the release “was inadvertently, and perhaps prematurely sent notifying the State of Alabama that these individuals were scheduled to begin transporting to Alabama as early as Wednesday.”
Alabama lawmakers took the matter to President Trump.
Rep. Mike Rogers said on Monday “The president told me yesterday afternoon somebody’s going to get fired over this…but we think that it was just some low level people who were just looking for an option, an overflow option, and they just didn’t think this through…but I intend to learn more about that when I get back to D.C. this week.”
Anniston Mayor Jack Draper said the city got the word last night.
“It was ultimately determined that this time, the city would not be a suitable location for evacuees to be transported.”