The United States, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, could send Russia ventilators to help the country battle its record-setting rise in coronavirus cases, U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday.
His announcement follows controversy over Russia’s shipment of medical supplies to the U.S., which Moscow described as humanitarian aid and Washington said it had paid for. Experts said the U.S. may have also violated its own sanctions after footage showed boxes of ventilators manufactured by a sanctioned Russian firm being unloaded in New York.
“I think Russia is going to need ventilators. They’re having a hard time in Moscow. We’re going to help them,” Trump said in a televised briefing.
He noted that the U.S. was also ready to send coronavirus aid to other countries including Italy, Spain and France.
A growing number of doctors have said that Covid-19 patients appear to fade rapidly when they are put on ventilators and tubes are placed down their windpipes.
Trump vowed to unveil plans Thursday to reopen the world’s top economy, claiming the U.S. had “passed the peak” of the coronavirus crisis despite a record daily death toll.
Trump told reporters his “aggressive strategy” against the virus was working and that “the data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak on new cases.”
The U.S. has recorded 639,664 coronavirus cases and 30,985 deaths — both indicators being the world’s highest — after seeing nearly 2,600 fatalities in the past 24 hours.
Russia has confirmed 27,938 coronavirus cases, making it the 14th most-affected country in the world, and 232 deaths as of Thursday.
AFP contributed reporting to this article.