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Oct 17, 2014

US State Department Disappointed in Belize’s Decision to Decline Request

Marie Harf

While P.M. Barrow doesn’t expect repercussions, the U.S. State Department has expressed disappointment in that decision not to have the cruise ship passengers disembarked and flown out from the P.G.I.A.  Earlier this evening, during an appearance on CNN’s Situation Room, a representative of the U.S. State Department criticized the decision by saying that the matter could have been handled much differently.  Here is what was said.


Wolf Blitzer

“There is a Carnival cruise ship now in the Caribbean, it asked to make a stop in Belize to drop off one hospital worker from Dallas [so] this person could be sent back to the United States because she was in contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died of Ebola.  Belize said no!  You can’t drop off this passenger there.  You deal with these foreign countries, what happened here?”


Marie Harf, U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson

“Well again, as I said earlier today in the State Department’s press briefing, we’re disappointed by this.  We think it could have been handled differently.  Decisions like these need to be made based on information and science and not fear, even though we know this is a very serious disease, serious threat.  The ship is on its way back to Galveston, Texas right now.  It is expected to dock on Sunday and obviously we’ll be giving any care to this individual that is needed and we’ll keep having the conversations with countries if something like this arises again.”


Wolf Blitzer

“So Belize said no.  [Did] Mexico say no too?”


Marie Harf

“Well the Mexican government actually had indicated a willingness too.  There was some discussion among local authorities and national authorities but regardless of that the ship is on its way back to the U.S. and going forward, when cases like this arise we will have discussions with these governments about what they can do, what we can do, really based again on the facts here and how we can contain this in a safe way.”


Wolf Blitzer

“But I think it’s safe to say that the State Department, and you speak for the State Department, is disappointed not only in Belize but also in Mexico.”


Marie Harf

“I think when it comes to Belize we made clear that this could have and should have been handled differently in our view.  With Mexico I think it’s a little more complicated, they did indicate some willingness to let the ship dock there.  What we’re focused on now is going forward, not just any one case but how we can all come together to really put the world’s efforts behind fighting this.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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8 Responses for “US State Department Disappointed in Belize’s Decision to Decline Request”

  1. Sam says:

    Oh c’mon you person that spoke on CNN. Why would you all even suggest that the person land in the first place? I just think that u all just didn’t want others onboard to be infected but have the entire country at risk? Is that Y? That is so selfish. No offense but c’mon, Belize is clearly not prepared for this at all! I think you all just need to consider this in a larger picture… like foh rizzle. It’s just like when you cross the US border. I bet if ur really sick with Ebola, they’re gonna treat u like ur not already an alien -_- hence, all the security at the ports everywhere! Belize, for once I’m proud of u. like seriously. I just think it’s the right thing to do at the moment. but if ur as prepared and well-equiped like the US, then of course, i think u should cooperate because again, this is not a personal issue. This is a case on an international level.

  2. Lisa says:

    I dont know what they are upset about. If the US did the same as them we wouldnt have this problem in the first place. Why blame other counntries for our mess up! Why did we allow people who had ANY involvement in the taking care of a patient with Ebola sail or fly? Take the high road US and admit your mistakes before laying blame else where.

  3. Elsworth says:

    I support our leaders decision in reguard to the suspected Ebola victim, Belize is in no way prepared for an outbreak and would be devastated by it.

  4. anti-ebola says:

    I’m proud of the government of Belize. It’s a country that knows it’s not ready for an ebola crisis . The prime minister was doing his job, and his biggest concern was the people of Belize. The United States has many assets, there were many ways in which the person could have been flown out of the tender. Taking things back, I know if the US would have known Duncan was exposed to the virus, he wouldn’t have been let in the country in the first. At this moment we have to be cautious and the government of Belize was being cautious.

  5. BelizeanInAsia says:

    Seriously CNN? You should get your facts straight. If Belize is or isn’t prepared to care for a possibly Ebola infected patient. If you didn’t do your homework the answer is NO! So why put the entire population at risk for one American. Who are you? God? Have some decency and stop trying to paint a bad picture of a small third world country. The reporter/correspondent needs to ask the right questions. B u t then again why should she?

  6. Love1 says:

    I’m happy to say that belize did the right thing for there people and country. Let the US talk but you did the right thing to not let anyone from that ship come down.

  7. De says:

    Yeah, they would love to see us wiped out so they can come in and take over our Country and do what they want. Drill for oil, etc. Se how they under-mind us by giving Guatemalans contracts to build our facilities without work permits, knowing the situation. What message are they sending? Careful how you do not look that particular Gift Horse in the mouth. “Every helping hand isn’t always there to help.” Lots of it is for selfish motive!

  8. Retired CEO says:

    News media houses throughout the World need to stop spreading negativity before doing the appropriate research thus gathering facts as oppose to spreading negative news hypes. What we have here is classic example of lack thereof for the concern for third world countries. Our Prime Minister did the right thing in making the kind of decision as a preventive move to protect and preserve the health of the nation’s people. We salute and applaud you Mr. Prime Minister in you efforts to protect and preserve the health of our small and poor nation. Thanks for a job well done. Imagine the possibilities? You still have opportunity to becoming the best Prime Minister in our nation’s history. Now you need to clean up your house of rep. in order to continue earning the respect of the people of the jewel.

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