Egypt has sent medical supplies to the United States to assist in its fight against the novel virus outbreak. As Agence France-Presse said, Cairo’s move was made to cement the relations with Washington.
Egypt’s government on Tuesday ordered to send a plane loaded with the medical supplies to the United States to assist in the anti-virus fight. In fact, that is a role reversal for a top US aid recipient. The US ambassador in Cairo, Jonathan Cohen, also voiced appreciation for the “generous” shipment from the North African nation.
Egypt’s leader, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has been eager to cement relations with his American counterpart, and his country has already shipped medical goods with fanfare to China and Italy. The US leader has voiced enthusiastic support for Sisi, who toppled Egypt’s elected Islamist president in 2013 and has backed strong relations with Israel.
Commenting on the humanitarian aid for the United States, SISI’s office shared a video statement, which showed crates in wrapping that read in English and Arabic, “From the Egyptian people to the American people,” being loaded into a military cargo plane.
On Tuesday, Dutch Ruppersberger, head of a group in the US House of Representatives, that promotes relations with Egypt, said the plane landed at Andrews Air Force base in Washington outskirts.
Egypt has loaded the plane with 200,000 masks, 48,000 shoe covers and 20,000 surgical caps among other supplies, said Ruppersberger.
“This is why international diplomacy and maintaining relationships with allies like Egypt are essential not in times of crisis, but every day,” he wrote on Twitter.
Egypt continues to support other nations amid the coronacrisis
Egypt has reported 250 deaths from COVID-19 and some 3,300 cases, according to the WHO. Coronacrisis in the United States is under control, the health ministry said. It is far below the nearly 45,000 deaths recorded in the country, which has been scrambling to provide supplies and tests.
Still, some questioned whether Egypt, where one-third of the population lives on about USD 1.50 or less a day, was in a position to offer relief.
“Egyptians who are happy and proud that Egypt sent medical supplies to Italy, UK and the US are probably the ones who can afford to pay 10 EGP for a mask,” tweeted a prominent blogger who goes by The Big Pharaoh. Ten Egyptian pounds is more than half a dollar.
Egypt last month revoked the press credentials of a journalist from The Guardian who wrote that the country’s COVID-19 infections were higher than reported.