Coronavirus: Russia Flies Medical Supplies To US As Death Soar Over 5,000

LAGOS APRIL 2ND (NEWSRANGERS)-A Russian military transport plane is on its way to the US, carrying medical equipment and other supplies required to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The shipment, cited by many as a public relations coup for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, began on Wednesday following a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump forty-three hours earlier.

Mr. Trump, whose administration has struggled to fill shortages of ventilators and personal protective equipment, reportedly accepted Mr. Putin’s offer after the two leaders discussed the virus crisis on Monday. The Russian plane is expected to arrive in the US on Wednesday night.

Analysts have pointed out that emergency aid to Washington was a striking development and a rarity. Usually, the US donates supplies to embattled countries rather than accepting them.

If anything, the origin of the gift was bound to revive criticism from opposition Democrats that Mr. Trump has been too cozy with the Russian leader.

“Trump gratefully accepted this humanitarian aid,” the Interfax News agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Tuesday.

President Trump himself spoke glowingly in public about the Russian help after his call with Mr. Putin.

An unnamed US official in Washington confirmed to Reuters that the shipment was a direct result of Mr. Trump’s phone conversation with his Russian counterpart. The official said the shipment contained sixty tons of ventilators, masks, respirators and other items.

However, the equipment will be carefully examined to make sure it comports with quality requirements of the US Food and Drug Administration, the official added.

On Wednesday morning, Russia’s Rossiya 24 channel showed the plane taking off from a military air base outside Moscow in darkness, with its cargo hold filled with cardboard boxes and other packages.

Meanwhile, the fatalities from the coronavirus pandemic in the US has exceeded 5,000, while confirmed cases across the world are nearing one million.

There were 884 deaths in the US in a single day, a new record, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The latest victims include a six-week-old baby. Over 216,000 Americans are now infected, the world’s highest figure.

Reserves of protective gear and medical supplies are nearly exhausted.

This has left the federal government and individual US states competing for safety equipment, while the unprecedented demand has led to profiteering, Department for Homeland Security officials were quoted by the Washington Post as saying.

The Trump administration says it can acquire adequate supplies, and has 16 billion Dollars available to do so. But state and local officials have complained about insufficient protective equipment such as masks and gowns as well as ventilators, needed to help keep patients breathing.

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Posted by on Apr 2 2020. Filed under Health, International, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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