Trump Says U.S. Will Help Italy With Medical Supplies, Hospitals

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President Donald Trump has pledged U.S. assistance to Italy as the European country continues to be ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. departments including State, Commerce and Defense would be involved in the relief effort, which came at the request of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, according to a memorandum released by the White House on Friday night.

More than 147,500 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Italy, with nearly 19,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

35,098 in U.S.Most new cases today

-18% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-1.​013 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

The relief effort will include equipment and supplies. American military personnel stationed in Italy will also be available to help with transport and setting up field hospitals.

Trump said challenges facing the U.S. would be the first priority of his government. However, “coming to the aid of Italy will help fight the Covid-19 outbreak and mitigate the impact of the crisis, while simultaneously demonstrating United States leadership in the face of Chinese and Russian disinformation campaigns, lessening the risk of re-infection from Europe into the United States, and maintaining critical supply chains,” he said.

Earlier this week, John Demers, head of the Justice Department’s national security division, said the department was tracking disinformation campaigns worldwide by Russia and China that are intended to sow divisions over the coronavirus crisis.

The disinformation operations could fuel confusion and division in the U.S. and other Western countries, Demers said in an interview with Bloomberg News on Thursday.

— With assistance by Chris Strohm

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