High-ranking congressmen from the U.S. Democratic Party sent a request to the State Department to investigate the supplies of ventilators to Russia from the U.S. and vice versa during the first stage of the coronavirus pandemic.
The congressmen ask whether the supplies were in violation of American sanctions and how they contributed to the “goals of American foreign policy”.
In addition, they ask to determine what role President Donald Trump or other White House officials played directly in these decisions.
“It makes little sense for the U.S. to send 200 ventilators to Russia, which cost U.S. taxpayers $5.6 million, while two months earlier the Federal Emergency Management Agency had received 45 Russian ventilators, which were incompatible because they require a different voltage and are not safe for use in the U.S.,” the letter says.
According to the letter’s authors, the US authorities’ decision to accept the Russian cargo with IVL gave the Russian leadership “a propaganda victory, while Russia tried to portray itself as a leader in the fight against coronavirus”. They also did not rule out that such shipments somehow threatened US national security interests. “There is also the question of why the State Department previously stated that it bought these IVL machines, and now assures that it did not buy them,” the letter stresses.
Earlier this week, Buzzfeed reported that the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disposed of 45 Russian TRS machines. On April 1, a plane with medical equipment worth about one million dollars arrived in New York, including TRS devices. Also, the USA sent to Russia a military board with medical cargo worth $5.6 million.
The TRS was distributed among hospitals in New York and New Jersey, but it was not used. According to Buzzfeed, later it turned out that Aventa-M devices do not work without adapters for the U.S. power grids. In addition, the devices were manufactured by a company that fell under U.S. sanctions.
Later, the manufacturer of the devices, Radio Electronic Technology Concern (CRET), doubted that its products were recycled and advised to wait for information from official sources.