Trump offers Russia assistance as its coronavirus cases soar
President Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to commemorate the 1945 Allied victory over Nazi Germany and discuss efforts to combat the novel coronavirus.
Trump said he was prepared to assist Russia in combating COVID-19, according to White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere, an offer the president has extended to other countries.
Trump later told reporters in the Oval Office that he offered to send ventilators to Russia to help the country treat patients with the coronavirus.
“If they need ventilators, we’d love to send them some and we will do that at the appropriate time,” he said during a meeting with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) Thursday afternoon.
Russia’s count of coronavirus cases soared to more than 177,000 after Moscow reported 11,231 new infections on Thursday.
“President Trump and President Putin discussed progress on defeating the coronavirus pandemic,” Deere said in a statement. “President Trump reiterated that the United States is working hard to care for Americans at home and is also ready to provide assistance to any country in need, including Russia.”
Trump had been invited by Putin to attend Russia’s annual May Day parade this year marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany. In November, the president said he was considering traveling to Moscow for the trip, but the White House said in March that he had declined the invitation.
Putin was forced last month to postpone the May 9 parade due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Russia typically uses the annual event to display its military power.
The two leaders also discussed arms control on Thursday’s call, and Trump “reaffirmed that the United States is committed to effective arms control that includes not only Russia, but also China, and looks forward to future discussions to avoid a costly arms race,” according to Deere.
—Updated at 4:22 p.m.
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