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Turkey Flies Medical Aid to US to Fight COVID-19
In this handout provided by the Turkish Defense Ministry, Turkish soldiers prepare to load a military cargo plane with equipment donated by Turkey to help the US combat the COVID-19 outbreak, at Etimesgut airport outside Ankara, April 28, 2020. (Turkish Defence Ministry)

Turkey Flies Medical Aid to US to Fight COVID-19

A Turkish military airplane flew medical supplies and protective equipment to the United States on Tuesday to assist its NATO ally in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. “We are proud to announce that Turkey will deliver medical supplies to the United States, upon our NATO ally’s request, to support America’s fight against the coronavirus,” Turkey’s Communications Directorate said. The US, struggling to deal with the highest death toll and number of confirmed cases in the world, welcomed the “generous donation” of 500,000 surgical masks, 4,000 overalls, 2,000 liters (528 gallons) of disinfectant, 1,500 goggles, 400 N-95 masks and 500 face shields. “As this delivery indicates, the US-Turkey relationship is strong and one of our most important alliances,” US Ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield said. US-Turkey relations have been strained recently by multiple disputes – over the conflict in Syria, Iran sanctions, Turkey’s plan to deploy the Russian S-400 missile defense system, and the erosion of human rights and democratic norms under Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Ankara has also sent medical shipments to 55 other countries, including Britain, China, Iran, Italy, Spain, and others in the Balkans and Africa. Last month it flew 500,000 coronavirus testing kits to the US. Turkey itself has 112,261 confirmed cases, of which 2,900 have died, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker. The daily death toll has dropped for eight consecutive days, while new cases have fallen for the past three days. The United States has 988,490 cases and 56,253 deaths.

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