07 February 2020
The Uyghur American Association (UAA) has actively been raising awareness on the risk of potential spread of Wuhan Coronavirus (Covid-19) to an extremely vulnerable population in concentration camps in East Turkistan. In this effort, UAA has requested meetings with World Health Organization (WHO) and US government to discuss this very urgent matter. As a result, on Feb 7th 2020, Kuzzat Altay, the president of Uyghur American Association, along with two Uyghur medical scientist, Dr. Maysem Mutalipova, Director of the Human Stem Cell lab at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Sciences at MIT, and Dr. Mehmet Emin, a scientist at Columbia University Medical Center, met with White House official in the morning and State Department officials in the afternoon to discuss the high risk of potential spread of coronavirus in concentration and forced labor camp in Uyghur region and its potential catastrophic outcome. During the meeting, the importance of closing the concentration camps to give detainees a right to protect themselves was emphasized given the extremely unsanitary conditions in those overcrowded camps. It was requested that closing the concentration camp immediately should be part of global effort against the spread of the virus.