The United States has agreed to buy from Russia ventilators, medical supplies and other personal protection equipment needed to treat patients infected with COVID-19, a top official has said, as the country wrestles with the coronavirus pandemic that the White House has warned could kill up to two lakh people during the next fortnight.
The move to buy from Russia comes after a telephonic conversation between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on March 30.
“As a follow-up to the March 30 phone call between President Trump and President Putin, the United States has agreed to purchase needed medical supplies, including ventilators and personal protection equipment, from Russia, which were handed over to FEMA on April 1 in New York City.” State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said on Wednesday.
Both the countries have provided humanitarian assistance to each other in times of crisis in the past and will no doubt do so again in the future, she said.
“This is a time to work together to overcome a common enemy that threatens the lives of all of us,” she added.
“The countries of the G20 agreed last week to work together to defeat the coronavirus, and we are working closely with these countries and others to ensure that critically needed supplies get to those in need,” Ms. Ortagus said.
The United States is committed to the global fight against COVID-19, she said, adding that the US is a generous and reliable contributor to crisis response and humanitarian action across the world.
“But we cannot do it alone,” Ms. Ortagus noted.