U.S. Coronavirus Aid ‘On Its Way’ to Russia: Pompeo
A U.S. donation of coronavirus tests and ventilators is on its way to Russia, which ranks second in the world behind the United States for its number of infections, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview Sunday.
U.S. President Donald Trump had offered to send “some testing equipment, as well as ventilators” in a May 8 phone call with President Vladimir Putin, Pompeo said. Trump said at the time that Putin, who sent the U.S. a shipment of protective gear and ventilators that have since raised safety concerns, had accepted his offer.
“They’ve really struggled. Moscow, in particular, continues to struggle with the virus,” Pompeo told the Washington Examiner in Sunday’s interview.
The Russian capital, with more than 146,000 cases of Covid-19, accounts for nearly half of the nationwide total.
“That equipment is on its way,” Pompeo said, referring to Trump’s offer.
The U.S. plans to send 200 California-manufactured ventilators to Moscow over the next week, the state-funded Voice of America (VoA) outlet reported Sunday.
Citing government communications, VoA reported that the first 50 will be shipped to the Russian capital’s surgical center this Wednesday and the remaining 150 on May 26.
The U.S. will reportedly shoulder 100% of the costs, including expenses for delivery via a military aircraft and components, totaling $4.7 million.
Last week, Russia suspended its use of the type of ventilators it had delivered to the U.S. on April 1 following two deadly hospital fires blamed on the machines. U.S. emergency officials said they had not used the Russian ventilators and the two states that received the ventilators returned them “out of an abundance of caution.”
The U.S. and Russia have the world’s highest numbers of coronavirus cases at, respectively, 1.5 million and more than 290,000.
The head of Russia’s health watchdog on Sunday said the country has “stabilized” its outbreak with fewer than 10,000 new cases reported for the past four days.
(c) The Moscow Times