Review of Department of State Evacuations from Wuhan, China in Response to COVID-19 [open pdf - 608KB]
From the Summary of Review: "OIG [Office of Inspector General] undertook this review in response to a request made in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. [Public Law] 116-260). The request, detailed in the House Committee on Appropriations report (House Report 116-444), directed OIG to assess the Department of State's (Department) handling of repatriation flights from Wuhan, China, in response to the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic in early 2020. Congress asked that the review include the Department's interagency coordination, its coordination with state and local officials, its communication with the general public, and its implementation of screening and quarantine protocols for those on the Wuhan evacuation flights. OIG also reviewed the Department's communication with Congress and the extent to which the Department conducted lessons learned reviews or other internal assessments following the Wuhan evacuation flights to improve future pandemic emergency preparedness. Overall, OIG concluded that the Department carried out evacuations of over 800 Americans and others from Wuhan effectively and in accordance with applicable policies and guidelines. OIG found Department personnel coordinated with interagency partners at numerous levels in Washington and in China in planning and carrying out the Wuhan evacuation flights. However, the Department struggled to deliver accurate flight manifests to partner agencies. [...] In carrying out its review, OIG made three observations that, if addressed, could help improve the Department's handling of evacuations in the future: (1) the role of the Department's crisis manager needs further definition, (2) preparation of flight manifests needs more attention, and (3) use of social media during crises needs improvement. These observations are discussed in more detail in the report."
Department of State, Office of Inspector General, Report No. ISP-I-22-19