US seizes medical supplies bound for Cayman

| 08/04/2020 | 299 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Alden McLaughlin at Wednesday’s press briefing

(CNS): Eight ventilators, 50,000 face masks, other personal protective equipment and medical supplies bound for the Cayman Islands from the United States were seized on Tuesday by US authorities, in line with the Trump administration’s policy of no longer allowing equipment related to the COVID-19 pandemic out of that country. Premier Alden McLaughlin said that before the cargo ship left the US, the container with the supplies purchased by the Cayman government was removed from the vessel.

Answering a question from Felicia Rankin at Radio Cayman about the rumour, which has been circulating over the last day or so, that medical supplies had been seized, the premier said it was true. He said the container was seized yesterday as a result of the new US policy regarding PPE and ventilators.

“That has been a huge disappointment to us. All of those things were produced and purchased in the United States,” he said. When asked if the equipment would eventually get here, he said that work was going on through diplomatic channels but the policy appeared to be related to the shortages and pressures in the US with the coronavirus.

McLaughlin said he did not have the full details of what happened surrounding the removal of the supplies from the ship. “We are going to do everything we can,” he said.

At least five countries so far have been impacted by the US policy, whereby they have not just seized goods in the United States but also diverted supplies from ports around the world that were heading to other countries. Over the last week Germany, France and Brazil have all claimed that their medical supply orders from China were diverted in suspicious circumstances.

The government of Barbados said that US officials blocked the export of 20 ventilators that had been donated to the island from the US. Canada also raised concerns when one of its consignments of masks was considerably smaller than the amount ordered when it actually arrived.

At the weekend German officials accused the US of “modern piracy” when its shipment of masks was intercepted in Thailand and diverted to the US. The masks were reportedly acquired from the US manufacturer 3M, which has come under criticism from the White House for selling to overseas customers.

The US authorities and President Donald Trump have, however, denied seizing any of these shipments.

Today’s press briefing is not yet posted to the CIGTV YouTube page but can be seen on the CIG Facebook page here.


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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (299)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This one post generates 275 comments so far. A clear indicator of the disgust some of you have for Americans. To each his own, sure. But tell me this, why not 275 comments about posts detailing your daily crime? Your government selling out the caymanians? You government right now SELLING excess COVID supplies to Bermuda. Selling??? Like the sellouts littered on your island from the locals to expats from all over the world. Some of you just look for a reason to pull your head out of the sand and start taking shots, but yet you will plunge right back in headfirst when it’s your own dirty laundry. Remember the entire population on Cayman would not even fill up most NFL stadiums yet you still cannot fix your own issues…while your separation between the rich and poor widens daily. Keep complaining, it’s getting you real far, says nobody!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Selling at cost is not making a profit you ignoramus

      • Anonymous says:

        You seemingly missed the point Oh Ignorant One (arrogant to say the least). Selling at cost isn’t supplying for free now is it. You know, like here, take it. Oh but no, sell at cost. Well now, seizing at the boarder before it leaves for a place that does not need it is called bad. You know, like the providers dying in NYC don’t need it?
        Go put your head back in the sand.

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    • Anonymous says:

      1:47, More to do with the disgust many have for con man Trump rather than Americans. Americans are complaining bigly now because they see that the buffoon’s ignorance in January and February delayed what could have been short circuited.

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