U.S. supports Indo-Pacific partners in COVID-19 fight

Health workers and patients consult prior to COVID-19 testing at Mugda Medical College and Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (© Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters)

The United States is delivering 100 American-made ventilators to Bangladesh as part of the two countries’ growing cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 and other challenges.

Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun announced the delivery during his October 12–16 visit to Bangladesh and India in support of two critical and long-standing U.S. alliances.

“The United States sees Bangladesh as a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region, and we’re committed to growing our partnership in this regard to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Biegun said, following an October 15 meeting with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen in Dhaka.

Momen and Biegen (State Dept.)
Deputy Secretary Biegun meets with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Momen October 15, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (State Dept.)

Biegun also delivered two gas analyzers to help the Bangladeshi government ensure all ventilators in the country are working properly. The United States will continue to collaborate with Bangladesh as new medicines and vaccines for COVID-19 are found to be safe and effective.

The donation continues U.S. efforts to fight the coronavirus worldwide, which include more than $900 million in humanitarian assistance for the COVID-19 response this year alone. In India, U.S. assistance to support the health sector has included the delivery of 200 ventilators since June.

The Deputy Secretary’s trip builds on the United States’ efforts to ensure a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, through close collaboration with partner nations.

During the U.S.-India Forum on October 12, in New Delhi, Biegun hailed India’s “vital role in global vaccine research,” and said private-sector and academic researchers in the two countries are collaborating on coronavirus vaccine trials.

Throughout the trip, Biegun emphasized that U.S. alliances in the Indo-Pacific are based on forging close ties with countries that share common economic and geopolitical goals, as well as common values.

“Together we stand for a pluralistic vision that will ensure that our countries, and all the region’s diverse countries, can thrive as sovereign and prosperous nations in a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Biegun said.