State Department is now tracking 50,000 Americans who might seek help getting back to the US

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The State Department is tracking 50,000 Americans who might seek assistance in returning to the US, the head of the State Department’s repatriation task force said Wednesday. A dramatic increase from an estimated 13,500 Americans on Monday.

“At the moment we are keeping a running tally of the number of US citizens we estimate will seek our help in returning to the United States. This number changes daily, hourly,” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Consular Affairs Ian Brownlee said on a call with reporters.

The number is more than triple the figure the State Department was tracking just two days ago. On Monday, a senior State Department official said they were looking at approximately 13,500 Americans abroad who were seeking US assistance.

Brownlee, who heads the Department’s repatriation task force, said Wednesday that they had repatriated “over 9,000 people from some 28 countries.”

“We’re planning on another 66 flights over the next nine days or so,” he said. “We have some 9.000 people scheduled – identified for those flights and we hope to move those numbers up.”

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