Trump seeks to coordinate coronavirus response efforts with South Korea

Trump seeks to coordinate coronavirus response efforts with South Korea
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE on Tuesday discussed the coronavirus pandemic with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, allegedly asking his South Korean counterpart to send medical equipment that could help fight the disease.

South Korea's Blue House said in a statement that Trump told Moon to send any spare equipment that might be useful, according to Reuters. Trump indicated he would help Korean companies obtain approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Moon said he would provide as much support as possible.

The White House put out its own statement on the call that did not specifically mention Trump's request for equipment.

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A spokesman said the two leaders "discussed their nations’ respective efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump reiterated his commitment to employ the full weight of the United States Government and work with global leaders to save lives and restore economic growth.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the Blue House readout.

South Korea has drawn praise for its aggressive initial efforts to test citizens for the coronavirus and isolating those confirmed to have the disease.

The U.S. response was hampered by initial difficulties developing and distributing testing. Tests have become more widely available in recent days, leading to a sharp increase in confirmed cases.

As the disease spreads across the country, governors in Illinois, California, New York, Michigan, Ohio and elsewhere have ordered nonessential businesses to close and in some cases urged residents to shelter in place.

There were more than 46,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. as of Tuesday afternoon, and more than 500 Americans have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The U.S. has a population of roughly 330 million.

South Korea, which has a population of 51 million people, has more than 9,000 confirmed cases and 120 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.