UK Confirms Govt Asked U.S. for Ventilators After Friend and Ally Trump Pledged 200

US President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up during a "Keep America Great" campaign rally at Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood, New Jersey, January 28, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald J Trump has said the United States would ‘work out’ getting 200 ventilators to hospitals in the United Kingdom because “they need them desperately”.

Addressing reporters on Monday, President Trump said: “The UK called today, and they wanted to know would it be possible to get 200. We’re going to work it out, we’ve got to work it out.”

“They’ve been great partners. They wanted 200. They need them desperately,” the President added, according to The Mirror. A junior UK health minister confirmed on Wednesday that the two parties were in discussions to obtain the medical equipment.

On Sunday, health secretary Matt Hancock admitted that the UK might not have the 18,000 believed to be needed to deal with the height of the coronavirus pandemic. British defence firm Babcock International announced on Monday that it had received a government order of 10,000 ventilators, two weeks after British vacuum company Dyson also received a request for 10,000.

The offer came before President Trump’s kind remarks to his “friend” Boris Johnson after it was revealed that the prime minister, who was diagnosed with coronavirus nearly two weeks ago, had been admitted to intensive care after his condition had worsened.

President Trump had said: “I want to send best wishes to a very good friend of mine, and a friend to our nation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson. We are very saddened to hear that he was taken into intensive care this afternoon.

“Americans are all praying for his recovery — he’s been a really good friend and something very special: strong, resolute, doesn’t quit, doesn’t give up.”

Prime Minister Johnson has spent his second night in intensive care. Health minister Edward Argar said on Wednesday that he is “comfortable, he’s stable, he’s in good spirits”.

The government also confirmed on Wednesday that it had asked the U.S. government for support with obtaining ventilators, with the peak of the pandemic in the UK expected to hit on Easter Sunday.

Mr Argar told Sky News: “We’re sourcing ventilators from the USA, we’re sourcing them from other countries.

“The USA is one of those countries with which we are working to source ventilators.

“I don’t know the precise figure for each country, but of course we’re working with the U.S.”

The junior minister added that the UK now has 10,000 ventilators ready, including 500 from the 8,000 ordered overseas.

The offer of life-saving equipment from a friend and ally is a change from ordering material from China, the originator of the deadly respiratory virus.

Last week, China had sent the UK 300 ventilators. When it was initially reported that the UK was ordering equipment from the communist state, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage asked: “I hear that the UK government are buying ventilators from China, yes China. Can this be true?”

While former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said: “China shouldn’t be charging for this stuff. Why are they making money out of COVID-19 when it started in China? They shouldn’t be deriving any significant benefit at all.”

The UK has also recently received millions of Chinese-made coronavirus tests which do not work.

 

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