Trump adds Africa to growing list of areas US sending ventilators
President Trump committed this week to sending ventilators to various countries around the world, including in Latin America, Asia and Africa, as nations seek to stem the health crisis from the coronavirus outbreak.
Trump said in recent days that his administration would send ventilators to Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras and Indonesia. On Saturday, he announced the U.S. would also send devices to Ethiopia.
“Just spoke to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia. His Country needs Ventilators, and the U.S. is in good position to help him. We will!” Trump tweeted.
Just spoke to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia. His Country needs Ventilators, and the U.S. is in good position to help him. We will!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2020
Trump earlier this week dubbed the U.S. the “king of ventilators” and promised that his administration would send needed supplies overseas.
The ventilators are being sent to largely developing countries as the burgeoning coronavirus pandemic continues to expand around the globe.
More than 2.8 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, and nearly 200,000 people have been killed.
While Trump has touted his administration’s response to the outbreak in the U.S., individual states have said they are scrambling to obtain the tools they need to flatten the curve, including crucial personal protection equipment (PPE).
The availability of PPE has led to an avalanche of criticism from mayors and governors across the country who say the federal government needs to do a better job of making equipment accessible.
“You can’t have the states competing against the states, and then, by the way, when the federal government goes out to buy the same equipment for their stockpile, now it’s 50 states competing against the states and the federal government competing against the states,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), whose state is the epicenter of the U.S. pandemic, said earlier this month. “This is not the way to do business.”
States and cities have begun looking abroad for tools, though that process has been riddled with issues as well.
“We’ve had issues of our orders being relocated by our suppliers in China,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D) said at a press conference Friday. “For example, we had isolation gowns on their way to San Francisco and they were diverted to France. We’ve had situations when things we’ve ordered that have gone through Customs were confiscated by FEMA to be diverted to other locations.”