More than 50,000 Americans abroad are struggling to make it home as border closures and coronavirus quarantines leave them stranded far from U.S. shores, officials said Wednesday.
Ian Brownlee, who heads the State Department's repatriation task force, told reporters the government has helped bring home 9,000 Americans from 28 countries since the outbreak began, NBC News reports.
Earlier this week, the State Department had said that 13,500 Americans needed help getting home. But that number has spiked as more borders close and the pandemic spreads.
"Our posts around the world have received requests for assistance for getting back to the United States from over 50,000 U.S. citizens," Brownlee said. "And we're committed to bringing home as many Americans as we possibly can."
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Over the next week and a half, there will be 66 more flights carrying home another 9,000 Americans, according to Browlnee.