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.
We will reschedule your Honor Flight trip for September 7, 2020 and you will get a revised packet of information sometime in August.
Sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause, but again, your safety is our first concern.
President and Co-Founder, Never Forgotten Honor Flight