Sen. Joni Ernst: Iowa and State Dept. 'working desperately' to bring stranded Americans home

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Both Iowa and the U.S. State Department are working desperately to bring home Iowa residents stuck abroad amid coronavirus-related border closures, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said Thursday.

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Appearing on "America's Newsroom" with host Sandra Smith, Ernst said that she had heard American families' concerns about loved ones stuck overseas because of flight cancellations and the virus itself, and she is fighting to help Iowans return to the United States.

"My office is in contact with the State Department multiple times every day working through the various situations we have," said Ernst. "So far, we have over half of our Iowa families that have been out of the United States — we have half of them back in the United States."

On Wednesday, the State Department reported as many as 50,000 Americans are seeking help to return home.

"I get reports every day of the movement of those Iowans as they travel back home from those countries abroad," she continued.

"So we'll continue working with the State Department," she told Smtih.

"They are valiantly trying to get into remote areas to make sure that our Americans are safe and getting them home to their loved ones," Ernst stated.

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"We are, of course, seeing the pandemic touch our lives as well," she added. "We had a spike in unemployment. Nearly 42,000 Iowans applied for unemployment this last week."

"It's devastating, but we'll stay strong," Ernst concluded.