(CMR) The Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin has confirmed that a container of medical supplies containing eight ventilators and numerous masks coming in by ship was confiscated by the United States Authorities. Cayman is not the only country that has shared that the Trump administration is utilizing pirate style tactics to acquire coronavirus supplies.
The shipment contacted 4 refurbished ventilators and was confiscated on Saturday via Miami.
The question was posed after a rumor was in wide circulation about the confiscation. The US has a new policy to commandeer much in demand supplies for themselves. Coming under criticism Trump has denied the stories claiming that they are “completely false”.
The US has been accused of commandeering shipments of masks, ventilators, and other essential medical equipment destined for other countries, as the market for coronavirus supplies becomes increasingly difficult to source.
Cayman is not the only country that has been subjected to such behavior by the US federal government. In fact, the German police force said that an entire shipment of masks was diverted. German officials called it “an act of modern piracy” as 200,000 masks en route from China to Berlin were confiscated on the way to Thailand and diverted to the USA on Friday, April 3.
Andreas Geisel, the interior minister for Berlin state told the Financial Times:
“This is no way to treat transatlantic partners. Even in times of global crises, there should be no wild west methods.”
Also on Friday, the French government also accused the US of outbidding the original buyer of a large shipment of protective masks that was already on the runway in Shanghai. According to the Guardian the masks were already on the plane when a US buyer offered three times the amount of money.
Barbados Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Col Jeffrey Bostic confirmed in a press conference on Sunday that the United States also confiscated a shipment container ventilators after they had been paid for.
US manufacturing company 3M confirmed Friday that the Trump administration ordered it to stop exporting ventilators from US production locations to Canada and Latin America. After scathing remarks from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the decision was reversed on Monday.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) — which is in short supply in hospitals across the country amid the coronavirus pandemic — will be prevented from leaving the United States, the federal government said Wednesday.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it will prevent critical supplies such as respirators, surgical masks and surgical gloves from leaving the country while the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) determines whether to purchase the equipment, allow it to be exported or keep it for use in the U.S.