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Top Democrats slam Trump plan to send ventilators to Russia

Top House Democrats objected Friday to White House plans to ship lots of of ventilators to Russia at a taxpayer price of $5.6 million, saying the “gift to President Putin” is unjustified given the continuing pandemic and desires at house.

“We are deeply concerned with recent reports that you are providing critical, life-saving ventilators to Russia when they are urgently needed here in the United States to combat the coronavirus crisis and save American lives,” House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot E. Engel wrote.

“The United States has had more coronavirus cases and more deaths as a result of the virus than any nation on Earth,” they added. “In fact, the United States has had more coronavirus deaths than the next several highest countries combined.”

The Democrats had been referring to a proper notification to Congress that stated the U.S. plans to dispatch “ventilators and related commodities and consumables” to the Russian Federation.

Ms. Maloney and Mr. Engel stated the present appeared pointless, given Russia’s almost $1.7 trillion gross home product. They additionally complained that Mr. Trump was utilizing “extraordinary authorities to overcome the myriad of restrictions Congress has placed on providing U.S. funding to Russia.”

Russia appeared to duck the worst of the pandemic early on, however circumstances and deaths have surged there, inserting uncommon stress on President Vladimir Putin. The nation’s tallied 326,000 infections, placing it behind solely the U.S. by way of recorded circumstances worldwide.

Earlier this 12 months, the Trump administration scrambled to fabricate ventilators that assist COVID-19 sufferers breathe once they can now not do it on their very own. The sickness and the physique’s immune response causes havoc on the lungs.

Mr. Trump invoked wartime manufacturing powers to provide extra of the machines from non-public firms. Despite early fears, Mr. Trump steadily boasts that nobody within the nation died as a result of hospitals couldn’t discover a ventilator.

He says the U.S. is the “king of ventilators” and can be dispatching them to numerous nations in want.

“With the United States now on track to produce over 100,000 high-quality ventilators by the end of the July 2020, by far the highest production of ventilators in history, the president continues to reach out to our partners and allies around the world to ensure they can have access to high-quality, America-made, life-saving ventilators to meet their medical needs,” National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot stated. “In turn, we have encouraged our foreign partners to increase their own domestic production of these products as well.”

The pandemic is slowing throughout America however isn’t over, and the virus would possibly assault the U.S. in a second wave this fall. For that purpose, Democratic lawmakers say they need to safeguard the machines.

“Instead, it appears you may be providing or selling ventilators to other countries as gifts or favors to serve your own political or personal interests without any meaningful strategic justification, thorough interagency process, or policy rationale for doing so,” the lawmakers wrote.

In response, Mr. Ullyot stated “while the U.S. government’s first and foremost responsibility is to the American people, we are a nation of generosity and compassion. The United States will help other nations where and when possible, without detracting from our domestic needs.”

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