Friday 27 March 2020
Trump speaks during a briefing for the COVID-19 in the White House. Photo: Drew Angerer

Donald Trump secretly asked for help to contain the COVID-19 spread, as the United States of America now has the most coronavirus cases than the rest of the world, with more than 85,000 people confirmed to be positive.

However, during a White House briefing on 24 March, Trump mentioned the US should “never be reliant on a foreign country for the means of our own survival”. “America will never be a supplicant nation,” he added.

face mask in need as Trump secretly asks for help for COVID-19
Face masks are in high demand all over the world. Photo: Unsplash

But the narrative behind the scenes proved to be the exact opposite. The president has approached other nations to secure supplies of medical equipment, as the US is desperately short of these. Trump also contacted South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, asking for a supply of medical equipment.

While the White House made no mention of the request, Seoul’s Blue House issued a statement describing the call on 24 March. This took place less than two weeks after the Trump administration offered large sums of cash for exclusive access to a COVID-19 vaccine produced in Germany.

According to a report by German newspaper Die Welt, the German government is trying to fight off an apparent aggressive takeover bid by the US, as Trump offered the Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company CureVac “large sums of money” to gain exclusive access to their work.

Although the president continues to insist that the US has sufficient production of equipment needed to tackle the pandemic, conflicting signals from the administration and Seoul’s Blue House shows that Trump has secretly asked for help to contain the COVID-19 spread. So is anyone willing to lend a hand or a face mask?

Source: The Guardian, BBC News, Die Welt