E.U. Warns Of Difficulty Procuring Medical Equipment; U.S. Considers Lifting Coronavirus Aid Freeze, Denies Diverting Medical Supplies From China Meant For Brazil

Financial Times: E.U. warns of global bidding war for medical equipment
“A ‘global scramble’ for anti-coronavirus medical equipment has broken out, a top Brussels official has warned, after days of angry claims by countries that cargoes have been suddenly diverted to the U.S. Janez Lenarcic, the E.U.’s crisis management commissioner, said it was now ‘difficult to arrange an orderly procurement’ to ensure crucial pandemic gear such as masks and ventilators went to those who needed them most…” (Peel et al., 4/7).

POLITICO: Trump administration weighs lifting coronavirus aid freeze
“The Trump administration is weighing a partial lift of the clampdown on sending medical supplies that has prevented the U.S. Agency for International Development from shipping protective gear to countries in desperate need of help fighting the coronavirus, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter. Agencies are discussing a draft presidential memorandum outlining the proposal, which has yet to land on the president’s desk. The memo is titled ‘Essential Medical Supplies for Foreign Assistance’ and would allow the direct procurement of some supplies for foreign countries, according to the officials…” (Lippman, 4/7).

Reuters: U.S. denies hijacking Chinese medical supplies meant for Brazil
“The U.S. ambassador to Brazil on Tuesday denied reports that the U.S. government took over Chinese supplies of medical equipment that were ordered by Brazil to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Brazilian Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said last week China had ditched some Brazilian equipment orders when the U.S. government sent more than 20 cargo planes to the country to buy the same products. … ‘The U.S. government did not buy or block any material destined for Brazil. Those reports are false. We have investigated this,’ Ambassador Todd Chapman told reporters in a conference call…” (Paraguassu/Boadle, 4/7).