According to a report by the US “Politics” website (Politico) on March 31, the US government ordered the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to suspend the transportation of medical protective equipment overseas and demanded a U-turn on the way to the United States.
According to reports, last week, when a Trump administration official who provided protective equipment for U.S. doctors and nurses sought help from Thailand, he was informed by a confused voice on the phone that Thai officials sent similar supplies (so far The second of two) is on its way to Bangkok.
The report said that Trump’s aides were shocked when they heard the news. They immediately stopped the shipment and ordered a review of US aid procedures.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence quickly realized that the U.S. government needed to take another step: he ordered his staff to ensure that these censorship procedures in the United States did not hinder countries that were providing assistance to the United States.
According to people directly involved in the discussions, the White House New CoronaVirus Task Force, led by Burns, carefully reviewed all aid supplies to countries that had previously asked the United States to provide personal protective equipment needed to fight the epidemic. Officials said the U.S. government has also suspended medical protection supplies shipped overseas by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and demanded that they be shipped back to the United States.
As the review strengthened, U.S. health care workers complained of a surge in confirmed cases and severe shortages of masks, goggles and gloves. Democratic politicians have criticized the Trump administration’s plan to deliver aid to other countries, while greatly underestimating US needs.
“We are conducting a full investigation into when and where we send personal protective equipment, which is a good thing because we want to meet domestic demand,” Pence’s spokeswoman Katie Miller said.
In a special task force briefing on Monday, President Trump emphasized that the United States only delivers “what we don’t need” to other countries. He also announced: “We will provide Italy with about $ 100 million worth of surgical, medical and hospital supplies.”
The review process has reportedly frozen (for at least 13 countries, including Vietnam, Bangladesh, Honduras, and the Philippines) approved PPE assistance related to the outbreak, although the United States has processed some requests and delivered supplies. US officials were also not told how to explain the reasons to these countries. Officials acknowledge that the danger is that it could harm US relations with countries that could provide the United States with key supplies in the future.