(Washington DC) The coronavirus has grounded the Badger Honor Flight. All hubs were informed Wednesday morning of the decision by the Honor Flight Network. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued advisories that adults over the age of 60-years-old are particularly at risk of infection and should avoid non-essential air travel because of the serious nature of the public health threat posed by COVID-19.
The mandatory suspension of all Honor Flight trips nationwide is effectively immediately and is expected to remain in place at least through April 30. The decision has an immediate impact on Badger Honor Flight’s April 18th flight, and could potentially impact the Madison-based hubs two planned May 2020 flights.
Badger Honor Flight Chairperson Nicole Jennings said in a social media post that they want to “ensure the safety and well-being of our veterans, guardians, volunteers, and the community.”
Jim Bublitz with the Dodge County Wing of Badger Honor Flight says the decision is understandable.
“People should know we are concerned about the health and welfare of our veterans and their families,” he says, “When you have 5000 people at an airport all crowded together it does create a health issue.”
Bublitz says it is too early to tell if the veterans that had planned on being on the April flight will be shifted to the next flight that takes off, or if their flight will be added after the current round. Badger Honor Flight had added a sixth flight this year, one more than last year. He did note that the airlines have been very cooperative in working with their organization.
The Great American Cookout fundraiser for Honor Flight at the Chapel of the Archangels in Beaver Dam will still go on as planned this Saturday from 11am to 3pm.