Vern Buchanan Urges State Department to Help Americans Overseas Return Home

On Tuesday, U.S Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla.,  called on U.S. Sec. of State Michael Pompeo “to take more forceful action to help retrieve his constituents who are stuck on foreign soil amid the global coronavirus pandemic.”

Buchanan noted that several of his constituents remain overseas and are having problems getting back to the United States.

“I am very concerned that people from my congressional district, among others, have reported difficulties getting assistance from U.S. embassies in foreign countries and have been unable to secure flights home,”  Buchanan wrote Pompeo after speaking to a State Department official on Monday.

Buchanan’s office highlighted some of his constituents who are having problems returning home.

“Kendra Simpkins of Sarasota, Florida, is in the midst of a 21-day quarantine in New Delhi, India and has had five flights canceled. She was recently named Sarasota female veteran of the year,” Buchanan’s office noted. “Daniel Orzech of Bradenton remains in Lima, Peru, where he has been ‘under quarantine since March 15th.’ Cindy Alejandra Gutierrez Ramirez, and her daughter, Cristina Brier Gutierrez Ramirez of Lithia, Florida, remains in Medellin, Colombia.”

Buchanan called on Pompeo to do all he can to help these Americans return home.

“I join their families and friends who are anxiously awaiting their swift return to U.S. soil.  Please act immediately to provide information to my constituents and help arrange evacuation flights home,” Buchanan wrote Pompeo. “It’s frightening for these people to find themselves trapped on foreign soil and unable to get home because of travel restrictions. We need to be doing everything possible to secure their return.”

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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