Trudeau worried supplies meant for Canada have been diverted to US
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week expressed concerns over reports that medical supplies originally designated for Canada have been shipped to the United States.
Trudeau told reporters Thursday that he has asked the country’s public safety minister and transport minister to investigate the reports, Sky News reported, saying that “we need to make sure that [coronavirus] equipment that is destined for Canada gets to and stays in Canada.”
“We are working together [with US officials]. We understand that the needs of the United States are real, but the needs of Canada are also real. And we need to work together to that end,” Trudeau said, according to the outlet.
Trudeau said Canada has ordered hundreds of thousands of face shields from Bauer, the company that makes hockey equipment, in an effort to limit the spread of the virus across the country, The Associated Press reported.
Trudeau’s office announced new partnerships with Canadian industries to fight the coronavirus pandemic this week. In a Tuesday press release, Trudeau’s administration said Canada is investing $2 billion to support diagnostic testing of the virus and to purchase ventilators for patients and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers.
The crucial equipment has been in short supply in the U.S. The national stockpile of the essential items, like masks and gloves, is reportedly nearly empty, one official with the Department of Homeland Security told The Washington Post.
“The stockpile was designed to respond to a handful of cities. It was never built or designed to fight a 50-state pandemic,” the official said. “This is not only a U.S. government problem. The supply chain for PPE worldwide has broken down, and there is a lot of price gouging happening.”
There are more than 11,284 coronavirus cases in Canada, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.