In early February, the Trump Administration reportedly shipped 17.8 tons of American Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) medical supplies to China as health care workers in this country were coming under an increased shortage of vital materials due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The shipment of materials to China—such as N95 masks used by doctors and health care workers—was confirmed by the president’s own State Department, and in a tweet by Secretary of State Pompeo.
The materials were freighted off by the Trump Administration after the president spent months downplaying the severity of coronavirus, even lavishing praise on China and Xi Jinping’s response to the outbreak.
“China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency…” President Trump tweeted on January 24, 2020. “On behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”
The president’s shipment of the materials and praise for China’s coronavirus response came even after warnings by his own intelligence authorities that China was vastly understating data related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
And according to state and national reporting, hospitals across the country are coming under increased strain due to lack of the same supplies the president shipped to China – often leading to nurses and medical professionals contracting the virus due to lack of protective supplies. In Michigan, for example, nurses are actively protecting the lack of PPE availed to them by the federal government.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s leading pandemic response medical professional, indicated that more American lives could have been spared should we have responded to the virus earlier – likely including measures such as supplying U.S. hospitals with these vital PPE materials.
“Obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives,” Fauci said on April 12. “There was a lot of pushback about shutting things.”
As of April 24, the U.S. had over 50,000 deaths due to the disease caused by coronavirus – more than any other country in the world.