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U.S. and Europe team up to battle COVID-19
April 23, 2020

U.S. and Europe team up to battle COVID-19

Dave Reynolds – April 22, 2020

The United States is helping European nations combat COVID-19, relying on long-standing partnerships to improve disease prevention and detection across the continent.

Aid includes supporting laboratories and testing in more than a half-dozen countries.

“During these difficult times, the United States is working in solidarity with our partners and allies to provide humanitarian assistance to countries in need and to take all possible measures to combat the spread of coronavirus,” U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said in an April 11 statement announcing aid to Italy.

The United States has announced a robust assistance package for Italy, which has been hard hit by the new coronavirus. That includes $50 million in economic assistance to boost COVID-19 response efforts. The support will help international aid groups working in the country and increase Italian companies’ production of medical supplies.

Support for Europe is part of a U.S. strategy to save lives and curb secondary impacts from the new coronavirus in countries around the globe (see a rolling update).

U.S. embassies across the continent also have helped coordinate the response. U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Anthony Godfrey on April 10 announced the arrival of 6,000 test kits, part of $1.35 million in aid for Serbia’s COVID-19 response efforts.

U.S. Embassy officials in Malta and Portugal are using their 3D printers to produce face shields and help protect medical workers.

And U.S. forces, working through NATO, have delivered critical medical supplies to allies and partners, including Italy, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. NATO continues to coordinate support for COVID-19, matching requests for aid with resources among allies and partners, as well as deploying NATO’s Strategic Airlift Capability to ensure medical supplies make it to those most in need.

The U.S. Government Action Plan to Support the International Response to COVID-19 builds on the more than $170 billion in U.S. global health and humanitarian assistance in the past 20 years.

For example, U.S. investments in the early 1990s helped Cyprus create the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics. In the current COVID-19 outbreak, the institute is a national leader, testing more than 14,000 people for the new coronavirus, one of the highest per capita rates of testing in the world.

Years of cooperation between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and officials in Georgia have led to recent training of more than 200 of the country’s health care workers in COVID-19 prevention and detection.