The US State Department shipped 17.8 tons of donated coronavirus medical supplies to China seven weeks ago, when health experts and some American lawmakers were already seeking federal action to prepare the country for the disease.
The massive shipment to China included medical masks, gowns and respirators, now in desperately short supply across America. The supplies were contributed by American companies and nonprofits, according to a US Agency for International Development official.
The State Department touted its aid to China in a press release February 7, three weeks after the first COVID-19 case emerged in Washington state. The statement said the agency was prepared to spend $100 million on the fight against the disease in China and other foreign countries. That was the same day the World Health Organisation sounded an alert that such supplies were in critically short supply around the globe.
We have coordinated with U.S. organizations to transport more humanitarian relief to people in Wuhan. Personal protective equipment and other medical supplies donated by these organizations can help save lives in #China and help protect people from the #coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/57SN2TXfLP— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 7, 2020
President Donald Trump predicted that day in a tweet that China would be “successful” in vanquishing the illness, “especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker and then gone.”
Just had a long and very good conversation by phone with President Xi of China. He is strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus. He feels they are doing very well, even building hospitals in a matter of only days. Nothing is easy, but...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 7, 2020
....he will be successful, especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then...