The level of integration between our economies goes both ways across the border, said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday. It would be a mistake to create blockages or reduce the amount of back-and-forth trade of essential goods and services, including medical goods across our border. That is the point were making to the American administration right now.
Canada will pull out all the stops to prevent the United States from blocking the exports of some medical equipment, said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.
The Trump administration Thursday invoked the Defense Production Act to require 3M, a Minnesota-based multinational conglomerate, to prioritize orders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for N95 respirators.
There are significant humanitarian implications of ceasing respirator supplies to healthcare workers in Canada and Latin America, where we are a critical supplier of respirators, the company said in a statement Friday. In addition, ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done. If that were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease.
Asked by VOA about 3Ms response to the order, the director of the U.S. National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, indicated he had not yet read the letter but said let me take a look at it.
Health care workers across the country continue to complain about a shortage of the protective equipment. The demand may surge even more in the coming days amid anticipation the Centers for Disease Control will recommend that Americans, especially in coronavirus hot spots, cover their mouths to prevent widening infections.
Trump suggested Thursday people could put scarves on their faces instead of using conventional masks.
The pandemic has yet to peak in the United States, amid an estimation by the White House that in the next couple of months as many as 240,000 people in the country could die of the new coronavirus.
The state of New York has registered its biggest single-day increase in COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations, according to its governor, Andrew Cuomo.
In the last 24 hours, 562 people had died of the virus in New York, said Cuomo, announcing there are more than 100,000 confirmed infections in the state.
This is the highest single increase in the number of deaths since we started, he remarked Friday.
Looking ahead, in the near term, the governor warned that more people are going to die in hospitals due to a lack of ventilators.
New York is the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, the country with the most COVID-19 cases.
As of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 245,000 COVID-19 cases in the country, with nearly 6,600 deaths.
The virus is projected to become the top killer in the country on peak days this month, according to a daily tracker set up by an organization of assisted living facilities.
The economic health of the nation also is in jeopardy. Economists are forecasting the U.S. unemployment rate soon will surpass levels seen during the global financial crisis 12 years ago.