Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:

“I am deeply disturbed by President Trump’s arbitrary decision to send millions of dollars’ worth of life-saving ventilators to the Russian Federation after a conversation with Vladimir Putin. The President made this decision on his own, completely bulldozing the standard deliberative interagency process of consulting our diplomatic and development experts. Instead, he is now directing government agencies to justify his personal favor to the Kremlin.

“American global leadership and engagement with the international community is critical for the world to recover from this unprecedented crisis. So many in our country and around the world are suffering, in desperate need of assistance— including the citizens of our closest allies and partners and vulnerable countries unable to acquire essential resources themselves.

“Our global response to the COVID-19 pandemic should focus on where our assistance is needed most and reflect America’s values. It should not be guided by President Trump’s inexplicable admiration for an adversary.”

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