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News Release

Feds Pledge Better Communication with Local Leaders About China Evacuees

MoVal Mayor Tells Officials Landing at MARB Took City by Surprise

For immediate release: January 31, 2020

At a briefing today for local leaders by federal officials regarding the evacuation of Americans from China due to the spread of the new coronavirus, Moreno Valley Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez made it clear that he, the City Council and residents were not pleased to be notified just hours before the flight landed at March Air Reserve Base (MARB).

Federal officials said that the decision to reroute the flight from Ontario International Airport came down from the Secretary of the Air Force as the plane was in the air and that local officials were notified as soon as possible.

For the past two days, Mayor Gutierrez has also been contacting federal officials, including members of Congress, to convey the sense of unease and confusion many Moreno Valley residents have felt about the last-minute decision to land at MARB.

"We understand that these fellow Americans had to be brought home safely, and we're glad no one has so far exhibited virus symptoms," explained Mayor Gutierrez. "But we learned about the decision from the news, and that's not right. I just wanted to make it crystal clear that the residents and leadership of Moreno Valley expect better communication from federal officials going forward."

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Upon request, this news release will be made available in appropriate alternative formats to persons with disabilities, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Any person with a disability who requires a modification or accommodation in order to participate in this meeting should direct such requests to Guy Pegan, ADA Coordinator, at 951.413.3120 at least 72 hours before the meeting. The 72-hour notification will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to this meeting.


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