Trump orders 'robust assistance package' for Italy

Trump orders 'robust assistance package' for Italy
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal plan to contain Washington protests employs 7,600 personnel: report GOP Rep calls on primary opponent to condemn campaign surrogate's racist video Tennessee court rules all registered voters can obtain mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 MORE ordered a “robust assistance package” to help Italy combat the coronavirus pandemic, the administration announced Saturday. 

Italy requested the aid from the U.S., according to the White House. The aid granted by the U.S. comes in the form of technical assistance for Italy’s health sector through the Department of Health and Human Services and support for Italian businesses as well as international organizations and nongovernmental organizations. 

As of Saturday morning, Italy has reported 147,577 cases of the virus and 18,849 deaths. Though its reported cases are a third of those in the U.S., Italy has a slightly higher death toll and has reported devastating shortages of medical equipment and hospital beds. 

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“Although the United States Government's first and foremost responsibility is to the American people, coming to the aid of Italy will help fight the COVID-19 outbreak and mitigate the impact of the crisis, while simultaneously demonstrating United States leadership in the face of Chinese and Russian disinformation campaigns, lessening the risk of re-infection from Europe into the United States, and maintaining critical supply chains,” the White House announcement read. 

The 30,000 U.S. military personnel Italy hosts will assist the Italian government by providing telemedicine services, facilitating the transport and assembly of field hospitals and equipment, treating non-coronavirus patients and supporting transport of supplies and goods. The Pentagon will also “identify excess military supplies and encourage donations from the U.S. private sector,” according to the State Department.

“This critical assistance will not only help the Italian people, but will also bolster global trade and supply chains,” Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoMurkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump Pepper spray fired during Tiananmen Square memorial in Hong Kong The Hill's 12:30 Report: NYT publishes controversial Tom Cotton op-ed MORE said in a statement. “We are all in this together, and only through transparency, cooperation, and mutual support will we be able to defeat COVID-19.”