The U.S. is sending 200 American-made ventilators to Russia as part of a $5.6 million humanitarian aid package to help the country fight the coronavirus, even as the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warns that a second wave of the coronavirus is “inevitable” later this year, reports NPR.
Another batch of 150 American-made ventilators will head to Russia next week, according to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
In a statement, the U.S. Embassy called the delivery “rapid fulfillment” of a request Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed on recent phone calls with President Trump.
“The United States and Russia have provided assistance to each other in the past, and I have no doubt will do so in the future,” John Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, said in a video announcing the arrival of the U.S.-made ventilators.
The U.S. is donating $5.6 million in humanitarian aid to the people of Russia, including 200 U.S.-manufactured ventilators that will save countless lives. 50 ventilators arrived today, 150 will arrive next week. #COVID19 @mfa_russia pic.twitter.com/11COZniLDB
— Rebecca Ross (@USEmbRuPress) May 21, 2020
“If by that time we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well,” Fauci told CNN in an interview late last month. “If we don’t do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter.”
The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that if states ease restrictions too quickly, the country could see a surge that would “get us right back in the same boat that we were a few weeks ago,” adding that widespread testing is needed to avoid such a path.
“The truth is that we’re going in the right direction,” he said. “But we need to continue to partner in a very active collaborative way with the states, we need to help them the same way they need to do the execution.”
Fauci also called a second wave of the virus unavoidable on NBC News and Fox News on Tuesday.
“It’s inevitable that the coronavirus will return next season. … When it does, how we handle it, will determine our fate,” Fauci told NBC.
As of Friday afternoon, more than 1.6 million Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 97,581 have died.