USAID chief Mark Green (File photo)
The head of the US Agency for International Development plans to resign from his post at the end of this month amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
According to two people familiar with the move, former GOP Rep. Mark Green will submit his resignation to President Donald Trump early next week, Politico reported.
His resignation marks a high-level departure from one of the agencies which is tasked with responding to the global coronavirus outbreak.
A senior administration official said USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick, a Trump loyalist and former State Department foreign service officer, is expected to take over as acting head.
Green had already informed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump, whom he worked with closely on womenís global development programs, of his decision.
"His plans have been in place for a while, but he began telling folks last week," said a person familiar with Greenís departure.
Greenís exit from the agency comes as COVID-19 has reached pandemic levels this week, with Trump declaring a national emergency in the US on Friday.
Trump also freed up additional resources and federal funding of about $50 billion to fight the disease.
The US president has also imposed restrictions on travelers from China, Iran, the European countries part of the Schengen Area as well as the UK and Ireland.
So far, 3,043 people have been tested positive for the coronavirus across the country and 60 people have died, according to worldometers.info.
Meanwhile, according to Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide topped 150,000 by mid-Saturday and over 5,800 people have died, and more than 73,000 recovered.
US airports in chaos
US airports have fallen into disarray as new coronavirus health screening measures for people returning from Europe are being implemented.
Travelers flying from the continent have to wait for hours for the screenings before they can pass through customs, resulting in long queues.
The new requirements led to long queues particularly at Chicago OíHare airport, with Illinois governor JB Pritzker tweeting that long lines there were "unacceptable."
Angry passengers also shared images and videos of the packed airport.
There has also been speculation that the chaos could hasten the spread of the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, American Airlines Inc (AAL.O) said in an announcement Saturday that it would cut 75% of its international flights through May 6 and ground nearly all its widebody fleet.
Americanís drastic cuts include suspending nearly all long-haul international flights to Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and South America.
SOURCE: PRESS TV