At the end of last week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wrote U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Acting Administrator John Barsa following reports that U.S. government agencies have been shipping medical supplies to other nations. Scott’s office insisted “these supplies are needed in America to help fight the coronavirus.”
Scott’s letter is below.
Dear Acting Administrator Barsa:
It has come to my attention that the United States has been shipping various forms of medical supplies to other countries since January, including to Communist China. There is currently no firm directive for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) or any other U.S. government agency to cease the shipping of key supplies out of the United States as we fight the coronavirus. We do not, to my knowledge, have a policy in place to prevent resources manufactured by American businesses from being sold abroad, even when Americans desperately need supplies at home. I applaud the administration for beginning to address this matter, but many questions remain.
I can appreciate the desire that the United States has to help our allies and partner nations around the world. I know that many of these countries have helped us in the past and we hope for them to continue to do so in the future. The United States has always been a generous nation, both in terms of our government’s actions and the philanthropy of our citizens.
However, in the face of a global crisis, when we are in a desperate fight to save American lives and stop the destruction of our economy, we should not be shipping anything we need to another country. If there are sound reasons to do so, the American people deserve answers.
My questions are as follows:
- What exactly has the United States donated to other countries via USAID or other agencies since January?
- What is our foreign aid policy regarding the vital medical resources we hold or have access to that would aid in our fight against the coronavirus?
- What is the decision-making process and procedure for donating these resources to other countries? Who is in charge of making this decision?
- What is the administration doing about American companies favoring other countries over the United States in a time of national emergency?
- To date, what directives have been given to USAID and any other U.S. agencies regarding its medical resources that could be used in the United States? What other directives are forthcoming?
- Is the administration prepared to explain to the American people why any resources needed at home would be shipped overseas as donations or as sales to other countries?
- If the United States has enough resources on hand to sufficiently cover our needs, what is the plan for how we would donate our surplus to other countries?
- Would allies be favored as opposed to countries like Communist China, who created this global pandemic and to this day continues to lie about it, blame others, withhold data, restrict the ability of democratic allies of the United States like Taiwan to play their rightful role in helping defeat this pandemic, and manipulate international bodies like the World Health Organization?
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your response and working together to help the administration put America first as we combat the coronavirus.