Trump asks foreign countries for medical equipment

The State Dept. asked its embassies to find medical equipment. Russia was notably excluded from the list. 

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

Contrary to President Donald Trump’s insistence that coronavirus medical supplies will be supplied domestically, behind the scenes the administration is seeking help from foreign countries, reported Foreign Policy.

According to the report, David Hale, the third-ranking diplomat in the State Department, asked “all bureaus” in an email sent on March 22 to  embassies across Europe and Euro-Asia, for a list of countries that would be willing to sell “critical medical supplies and equipment.”

“Depending on critical needs, the United States could seek to purchase many of these items in the hundreds of millions with purchases of higher-end equipment such as ventilators in the hundreds of thousands,” the email said as quoted by Foreign Policy.

Reportedly, the email specifically excluded Russia from the list.

South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported that Trump asked South Korean president Moon-Jae on Tuesday if he could provide the U.S. with medical equipment to help combat the deadly disease.

According to the report, Moon told Trump he would provide “maximum support” if it becomes available.

The White House confirmed on Tuesday that a 23-minute phone call took place with both leaders but did not acknowledge that Trump made the coronavirus request.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump and President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea discussed their nations’ respective efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic,” the White House said in a statement.

“President Trump reiterated his commitment to employ the full weight of the United States Government and work with global leaders to save lives and restore economic growth.”

Die Welt reported on March 14, that Germany refused “large sums of money” from the U.S. to purchase  “exclusive access” to coronavirus vaccine research Germany’s biopharmaceutical company CureVac has been working on.

The Guardian reached out to the German health ministry for comment on the German newspaper’s report but it “declined the opportunity to correct any inaccuracies in Die Welt’s account.”