During these difficult times, the United States is working in solidarity with our partners and Allies to provide humanitarian assistance to countries in need and to take all possible measures to combat the spread of coronavirus. Italy, one of our closest Allies and friends, has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, and we commend Italy’s transparency and sustained heroic efforts to contain the virus and help those affected recover. The effects of the pandemic in Italy have been particularly devastating and we extend our deepest sympathies to families and friends who have lost loved ones.
In response to this unprecedented toll, President Trump authorized a robust assistance package for Italy. This will include support for international organizations and NGOs, including faith-based organizations, many of which are already providing essential relief to Italian communities. These efforts will help support the recovery of the Italian economy.
The United States will also provide technical support to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, building on existing, productive partnerships between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Italy’s health sector. We will identify excess military supplies and encourage donations from the U.S. private sector. Italy hosts about 30,000 U.S. military personnel and families. U.S. military personnel will assist with a variety of functions, including providing telemedicine services, facilitating the transport and assembly of field hospitals and equipment, treating non-COVID-19 patients, and supporting transport of supplies, fuel, and food.
This critical assistance will not only help the Italian people, but will also bolster global trade and supply chains. We are all in this together, and only through transparency, cooperation, and mutual support will we be able to defeat COVID-19.