U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy met with Lowell Sun

LOWELL — Hundreds of Americans were on the Westerdam cruise ship but with fears of the novel coronavirus, also called COVID-19, gripping the region, the boat was turned away from dock after dock.

Patrick Murphy, the U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, stepped in, the diplomat told a group of students at Stoklosa Middle School on Monday.

“I went to the government of Cambodia and said, could you help this cruise ship and Cambodia said yes,” he said. “1,500 passengers arrived in Cambodia. They had no idea where Cambodia was. They didn’t expect to be in Cambodia, but our embassy team worked around the clock for ten days to help every single passenger find an onward flight to get home.”

The school visit, which he opened with a few words in Khmer, was one of several stops on the ambassador’s visit to Lowell this week. Monday afternoon, Murphy visited the Sun for an editorial board meeting and expanded upon the role of his diplomatic post in the COVID-19 outbreak.

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