Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Steve Sweeney: Vietnam ships 450,000 protective suits for U.S. health care workers

A statement from the U.S. embassy in Hanoi confirmed that the first batch of supplies arrived in the U.S.’s national strategic stockpile on April 8.

Vietnam has sent 450,000 protective suits to the U.S. as part of the country’s support in the “global effort” to contain the coronavirus package, the government said. The shipment was provided to help U.S. medical teams who face a severe shortage of equipment as the number of cases of COVID-19 there continues to spiral.

Vietnam’s socialist government has also sent more than half a million masks to European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Britain. It said that it aimed to show its “spirit of mutual support to partner countries.”

The country’s large manufacturing capacity enabled it to produce 450,000 protective suits in just 10 days, a process that U.S. company DuPont said would usually take three months.

A statement from the U.S. embassy in Hanoi confirmed that the first batch of supplies arrived in the U.S.’s national strategic stockpile on April 8. “This shipment will help protect healthcare professionals working on the front lines against COVID-19 in the United States and demonstrates the strength of the U.S.-Vietnam partnership,” it said.

The supply of the suits is “part of Vietnam’s participation and contribution to the global effort to push back the COVID-19 epidemic,” the government said.

More than one million people were killed and many more maimed as the U.S. propped up a corrupt and murderous anti-communist South Vietnam government in the 1960s and ’70s, bombing with napalm and other chemical weapons, including Agent Orange. Despite its efforts, the U.S. left defeated and Vietnam was reunified.

Vietnam has 268 cases of COVID-19 and no confirmed deaths, despite its proximity to China, where the outbreak began. By contrast, the U.S. has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak with over 650,000 cases and more than 33,000 deaths.

Vietnam has managed to contain the spread of the disease by placing whole cities under quarantine and taking early action. It “declared war” on the coronavirus during the Tet New Year celebrations, when there were no reported cases in the country. Early testing and contact tracing have been crucial, the government said.

U.S. President Donald Trump snapped under pressure over his handling of the crisis this week in a stormy press conference in which he hit out at CBS journalist Paula Reid when she questioned the lack of preparedness. She highlighted 20 million unemployed and tens of thousands of Americans dead.

But Trump responded by branding her “disgraceful” and said that the channel was guilty of “fake news” in its coverage of the pandemic.


Published in People’s World. Included in Vox Populi under an open license.

A motorcyclist drives past a poster calling people to take care of their health against the new coronavirus in Hanoi, Vietnam, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. The country just completed shipment of 450,000 protective suits for U.S. health care workers. | Hau Dinh / AP

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