Claiming that the US was so well supplied with ventilators to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, President Donald Trump said he will send spares to other hard-hit places such as Russia, immediately triggering his critics.
“I think Russia is going to need ventilators. They’re having a hard time in Moscow. We’re going to help them,” Trump said on Wednesday, during the daily press conference in the White House garden.
The online Resistance – die-hard believers in the conspiracy theory that Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 US presidential election, pushed for years by the Democrats and the mainstream media – quickly seized on the comment as proof that the president was evil.
Unprompted, Trump says he’s concerned about Russia’s lack of ventilators.
— Windsor Mann (@WindsorMann) April 15, 2020
Trump is on stage promising to give our ventilators to Russia. No really, this is happening.
If you don’t vote for Joe Biden, you’re as much of a traitor as Donald Trump is.
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) April 15, 2020
He’s hoarding ventilators to give to…Russia??!? https://t.co/fTMlDQDQOD
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) April 15, 2020
The opprobrium ranged from verified blue checkmarks with tens of thousands of followers to freshly created accounts with generic names and bios, all shrieking in unison about how even offering much-needed medical equipment to Russia amounted to treason.
Trump’s talking about sending ventilators to Russia and says we don’t need any more.
He doesn’t hide it. Never has. Every thing he does is in plain sight.
It’s up to us to fix it. He’s got to go. Four more years is not an option.
— Jess O’Connell (@JessOConnell) April 15, 2020
tRump is sending our ventilators — ventilators that American citizens might need — to Russia. Did you hear that?#PressBriefing
— Sonya😷 ~ Biden Supporter💙 🇺🇸 🌻♊🍷 (@meSonyaB) April 15, 2020
@SpeakerPelosi If trump sends ventilators to Russia he must be tried for treason. He wouldn’t even send New York any and the ones sent to California didn’t work. His employer is Putin not the US.
— Woke Nana (impeach Barr, indict tRump)👵🏻🌸🌼🌸 (@degrilla) April 16, 2020
Trump also mentioned helping Italy and Spain, two European countries hardest-hit by the virus over the past two months, though the US has since surpassed them in the sheer number of both Covid-19 cases and fatalities.
As of Wednesday, the US has almost 635,000 registered cases and nearly 28,000 deaths. New York City accounts for nearly a third of the total US deaths due to the virus.
At the end of March, Russia dispatched a planeload of medical supplies to New York amid reports the US was experiencing critical shortages, with the Kremlin saying they hoped the US would reciprocate if needed. That aid was also met with howls of protest by the ‘Russiagate’ crowd.
It is unclear whether Russia will actually need US ventilator aid, or if Trump was using it as an illustration of the US surplus. Russia has registered just under 25,000 cases of Covid-19 and 198 deaths so far, mostly in Moscow and the surrounding region.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University at the end of March, Russia had some 40,000 ventilators compared to the 62,000 or so in the US. With less than half the US population, this translated into 27.3 ventilators per 100,000 people in Russia compared to only 18.8 in the US.
Vesna News — official website