Washington: The United States is ready to supply a large number of ventilators needed by its friends and allies in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump said on Friday.
Having ramped up the production of ventilators and other medical equipment required inside the US to treat the large number of people infected with the novel coronavirus, Trump said his administration will be distributing those throughout the world to other countries.
Trump said when he spoke with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the first thing that the PM asked him for help was ventilators.
"Boris Johnson was asking for ventilators today. Unfortunately, he tested positive. And that's a terrible thing, but he's going to be great. I'm sure he's going to be totally great. But they want ventilators. Italy wants ventilators, Spain wants ventilators, Germany wants ventilators," he said.
"They're all calling for ventilators. Well, we're going to make a lot of ventilators and we'll take care of our needs, but we're also going to help other countries," said the President as he announced that in the next 100 days, the US will be making more than 100,000 ventilators.
Responding to a question, Trump said there is a very good chance that the US might not need that many.
"I think frankly there is a great chance that we are not going to need that many. There are a lot of other people who are going to need them and we have countries all over the world that are friends of ours and we will help them," he said.
"We are in a position to do things that other countries can't so we have sort of an interesting position. We can make them because we are going to be making over 100,000 pretty quickly so we can make them and if we donate them, that's okay because we can help Italy and UK, especially Boris Johnson. I mean when I say how are you feeling and the first thing Boris said to me is we need ventilators," Trump said.
On Friday, he also invoked part of the Defense Production Act, requiring certain companies to produce ventilators.
"We need industrial mobilization to make adequate ventilators, particularly in the very short run to help the people in New York, Detroit, New Orleans, Chicago, Denver, Seattle all around this country as this virus bears down and the ventilators really the most important thing for patients who become most seriously ill. They are literally the lifeline for people," said the President's advisor Peter Navarro.
The White House has been working with 10 different companies to manufacture ventilators. The federal government currently has 10,000 ventilators in stockpile and is ready to use them rationally across the country.
Meanwhile a Congressional delegation from the Washington State called the Trump administration to expedite the request for 1,000 additional ventilators from the Strategic National Stockpile.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.