From: Meredith Rosenbeck <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2020, 10:34:48 AM EDT
Subject: CRITICAL UPDATE: COVID 19, Mandatory Suspension of All Honor Flight Trips
To whom it may concern:
As you undoubtedly are aware, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has reported a growing incidence of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) infections across the United States. In addition, over the last several days, the health departments of the District of Columbia and Virginia have announced that several individuals in both Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia have tested positive for COVID-19.
The leadership and Board of Honor Flight Network have been closely monitoring guidance from the health authorities concerning COVID-19. On March 10, 2020, the Board held an emergency meeting concerning this developing situation and discussed the CDC’s recently issued advisory that adults over the age of 60 are particularly at risk of infection and should avoid all non-essential air travel. In consideration of the CDC’s guidance and the serious nature of the public health threat posed by COVID-19, the national Board is issuing a mandatory suspension of all Honor Flight trips effective immediately through at least April 30, 2020. The national Board will continue to monitor CDC guidance over the coming weeks to determine if the mandatory suspension of Honor Flight travel will be extended further.
We value the health and safety of our veterans, their guardians, and everyone who supports the Honor Flight trips above all else. The decision to suspend all Honor Flight travel has not been made lightly, and the Board has taken the firm position that all trips scheduled through April 30 must be postponed. Any hub that moves forward with a trip in contravention of this Board mandate will be immediately terminated from the Honor Flight Network. No exceptions will be made.
This is an unprecedented and challenging time because of the uncertainties and risks associated with COVID-19. We are particularly concerned about the susceptibility of our elderly veterans to infectious diseases. Many veterans who make Honor Flight trips have serious, chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, COPD or lung disease that leave them even more vulnerable to COVID-19. In addition, many of these veterans live in community settings, such as a retirement home or assisted living facility, where the risk of spread is extremely high. While we realize that many veterans feel a sense of urgency to make a trip to their memorials before it is too late to do so, we simply cannot allow travel under the present circumstances.
As previously noted, the leadership and Board of the Honor Flight Network will reassess the suspension of trips in the coming days and weeks in view of information from the health authorities. A decision concerning whether to extend the suspension of trips beyond April 30, 2020 will be announced as soon as practicable.
If financial issues are impacting a hub or individual as a result of this suspension of trips, Honor Flight Network will work with you and your hub to try and resolve such problems. We have been in regular contact with the major air carriers over the past few days regarding this matter and are able to assist you in working with your carrier to modify your plans should you require additional assistance.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. A ‘hard’ copy of this notice is attached hereto.
Meredith Rosenbeck, CEO
Honor Flight Network
4601 North Fairfax Drive Suite 1200
Arlington, Virginia 22203