Some Evacuees at Military Bases Now Being Evaluated for Coronavirus Symptoms

This Feb. 2, 2020 photo provided by the U.S. Marine Corps shows an air passenger check-in area at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
This Feb. 2, 2020 photo provided by the U.S. Marine Corps shows an air passenger check-in area at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. This facility and other military bases will be the temporary home of hundreds of coronavirus evacuees, who will be quarantined for up to two weeks upon their return to the U.S. from virus-affected areas in China. (Lance Cpl. Jacob Pruitt/U.S. Marine Corps via AP)

As the number of coronavirus evacuees housed at U.S. military bases and put into quarantine grew Friday, officials acknowledged that some arrivals from Wuhan, China are now being hospitalized with symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified two new evacuees at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar who have developed symptoms warranting further evaluation, Tom Skinner, a CDC spokesman, said in a statement released Friday night.

"A child was transported to Rady Children's Hospital and an adult was transported to UC San Diego Health," he said. "This brings the total number of persons transported to hospitals for evaluation to seven."

One adult and one child taken to the children's hospital Wednesday with symptoms have tested negative for the virus and returned to the base to complete the 14-day quarantine period, the statement continued, while results are still pending on the others' tests.

The latest flight with evacuees from Wuhan arrived at Miramar Friday morning with 65 aboard, according to the statement, adding to the number waiting out quarantine periods at four bases around the country.

Two flights chartered by the State Department with a total of about 300 U.S. citizen passengers aboard left China Thursday night.

One flight with about 70 passengers aboard had a scheduled refueling stop at Travis Air Force Base in California before continuing to the Camp Ashland Army National Guard facility near Omaha, Nebraska, the Pentagon said in a statement.

The second flight, with about 230 passengers aboard, was bound for Miramar after a refueling stop in Vancouver, Canada, the Pentagon said.

On Wednesday, roughly 350 passengers evacuated from Wuhan traveled aboard two 747 jetliners that landed at Travis, where they will be quarantined and monitored.

In the first evacuation flight Jan. 29, about 198 passengers were taken to March Air Reserve base in southern California.

All of the evacuees will be subject to a 14-day quarantine, the incubation period for the virus. They will be supervised by the Department of Health and Human Services and have no contact with Defense Department personnel, according to the Pentagon.

The Pentagon has also designated Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and Fort Carson, Colorado, as potential sites to house additional Wuhan evacuees.

In addition, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday that 11 other bases were under consideration for housing coronavirus evacuees should HHS determine it was necessary.

The death toll from coronavirus has now passed 630 and more than 31,000 cases have been confirmed, Chinese health authorities said Friday. As of Friday, 12 cases of coronavirus had been reported in the U.S.

In a phone call to President Donald Trump Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said "We have declared a people's war" on the coronavirus and China was "fully confident and capable of fighting the epidemic."

"Just had a long and very good conversation by phone with President Xi of China," Trump tweeted later. "He feels they are doing very well, even building hospitals in a matter of only days. Nothing is easy, but he will be successful, especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone."

However, China still has not accepted the United States' offer to send personnel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help with the coronavirus outbreak, officials said Friday at a White House news conference.

"At this point, it's a decision for the Chinese," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said. "We're ready, willing and able to support the Chinese government."

At the same news conference, Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said China has begun a clinical trial of an anti-viral agent to treat the coronavirus.

The trial was looking at the effects of remdesivir, a drug made by the pharmaceutical company Gilead, in controlling respiratory illness, Fauci said.

-- Hope Hodge Seck contributed to this story.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at

Story Continues