Trump buys faulty COVID-19 supplies from Russia, ignores U.S. sanctions

The Trump Timeline

Sources linked at end of page.


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On a phone call with Vladimir Putin, Trump arranges a purchase of COVID-19 ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) from Russia. Trump tells the media that it’s not a purchase, it’s a gift.

Keep reading to find out that Trump didn’t actually make the deal himself; Jared Kushner did.

It turns out not to be a great gift. For one, we purchased the shipment. Two, the ventilators don’t work, as New York and New Jersey find out after receiving a portion of the shipment.

The move confuses most of the media; Russia has its own shortage of PPE gear, and Trump has claimed for weeks that the U.S. doesn’t have a shortage.

“They say, sew your own masks. There are no antiseptics… The doctors have no masks,” complained Russian lawmaker Alexei Zhuravlyov, appearing on Russia’s 60 Minutes. Olga Skabeeva, the host of 60 minutes, agreed: “There are no masks. That is completely true. Not a single pharmacy in Moscow has any masks… They don’t have the masks in our hospitals,” she said. “We’re all sewing them,” said Russian state TV host Vladimir Soloviev during his own program, The Evening with Vladimir Soloviev.

The Daily Beast

Even more confusing is that Trump, on the same day as the phone call, tells reporters that Russia already sent us PPE gear. (The earliest the supplies could leave Russia is the following day).

The comment left everyone scratching their heads, as no one in the US seemed to know anything about the plane in question. It appears the US president was referring to the aid arranged on the phone call as something that had already happened.

RT (Russia Today)

For Trump, the staging of the purchase as a gift from Russia helps him paint his criminal ally as a friend of the United States. For Putin, it sends a message to his country and other areas of Eurasia that the United States is up for sell.

“In any case, China emerges victorious—not because it defeated the virus first, but because it will continue its expansion into all parts of the world… The U.S.-Chinese battle is only part of a common geopolitical war… In this complex conflict, Russia appears not just as the owner of a ‘golden share,’ as the Americans think, but as the main engine of the whole process of creating a new world order. Russia and China are essentially allies; we have a very close vision of the post-American world.”

Vzglyad (Russian newspaper)

Half of the shipment is paid for by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is under U.S. sanctions and is not allowed to do business with us. The RDIF is operated by Kirill Dmitriev, who is named in both the Mueller report and the 2020 Senate Intelligence report as a possible figure in 2016 election interference.

The company that produced the ventilators is a subsidiary of Rostec group, a Russian state-owned organization that is also under U.S. sanctions.

Behind the illusion of Trump doing actual work is Jared Kushner. Kushner has a personal relationship with Dmitriev, a close confidant of Vladimir Putin. While the State Department managed the details of the shipment, Kushner was responsible for arranging the shipment in the first place. He leaned on Dmitriev to speed up the process.

In the years since, Kushner and Dmitriev have communicated—often at a distance, and at times through intermediaries—about ways the U.S. and Russia could work together. The conversations have touched on everything from creating a joint business council to increase investment, to working on a Middle East peace deal, to helping lead negotiations on a recent OPEC deal, to delivering those medical supplies, according to multiple senior officials.

The Daily Beast

At the same time that the Trump Administration is touting this “gift” from Russia, we force U.S. cities to enter a bidding war for N95 masks.

The city of Los Angeles was told by representatives of the federal government that it had lost a bid for N95 masks to a Russian entity, according to two people familiar with the matter. The L.A. officials were never told the Russian outfit’s name. 

The Daily Beast


Photo: Public Domain

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