Home Society US diversion of medical equipment is 'fake news', says new ambassador


US diversion of medical equipment is 'fake news', says new ambassador

by ace
US diversion of medical equipment is 'fake news', says new ambassador

The new US ambassador to Brazil, Todd Chapman, said at a press conference on Tuesday, 7, that Washington had not diverted or blocked the purchase of medical equipment intended to combat the coronavirus in the country, and that such accusations do not pass. “fake news”. The diplomat also admitted the possibility of suspending flights from Brazil to American territory, in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I want to make it very clear that the United States government did not buy or block any medical material or equipment from China destined for Brazil," he said at the press conference. "The reports found are completely false."

"I know there are a lot of fake news out there from people saying this is happening, but we have already investigated and it is not," he said. "What is happening is that many suppliers are playing, wanting to sell there and then sell here, but our bailiffs are trying to prevent this, because it is against American law."

Last week, Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta reported that several purchases of personal protective equipment for health professionals, such as masks and gloves, were not completed after the United States purchased large quantities of products from China on 23 cargo planes from China.

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The Health Minister said that "this is one of our weaknesses". Mandetta said a similar situation occurred with the purchase of respirators.

The governor of Amazonas, Wilson Lima, also complained about Brazil's difficulty in competing with countries like the United States, in the purchase of this equipment from China. On the issue, Chapman said he did not want to create "a virtual conversation" with governors. "If there is any other concern, send it to us and we are happy to investigate," he said.

Todd C. Chapman was appointed by President Donald Trump in October 2019 and arrived in the country on March 29. The diplomat lived in Brazil during his childhood and served as ambassador to Ecuador from 2016 to 2019.

Chapman was received by President Jair Bolsonaro at the Planalto Palace on Monday 6, at a ceremony to deliver credential letters to 10 new ambassadors to Brazil.

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Flight suspension

During the interview, Todd Chapman also admitted the possibility of suspending flights from Brazil to American territory, in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. When asked about the issue, he said that "it is always something that my government is analyzing well".

"This is something that will always be analyzed and that we will talk about," he said. “But it is something important to protect our country, just as it is important for Brazil to protect your country. What I can say is that we are always in conversation with the Brazilian authorities ”.

Last week, President Donald Trump said he considered suspending flights from Brazil arriving in the United States to try to contain the pandemic's progress. “Brazil had no problem until recently. Now the numbers are going up and, yes, we are considering a [travel] veto, ”Trump said at the White House.


The American ambassador also addressed the disputes between the United States and China that have spilled into Brazil, as is the case with tension with the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei. The company seeks to deploy its 5G mobile network worldwide, but Washington claims that the technology and the company's proximity to the Chinese government pose a threat to national security in the nations that adopt it.

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The United States has already warned that it will stop “sharing information” with countries that allow the use of Huawei technology in communication systems. In November, company executives met with President Jair Bolsonaro.

Asked about the issue, the American diplomat said that every nation must “evaluate exactly how its foreign policy will do”. "These are complicated matters that each nation has to work for its own benefit," he said. According to Chapman, the Donald Trump administration is bound by principles such as freedom of expression, the press and democracy, but negotiates with China and other nations to maintain a practical and reciprocal business relationship.

"I think Brazil is also advancing its commercial interests in a very practical and pragmatic way, and this is normal," he said. "And we are going to talk about 5G, we are going to talk about many issues where we have our own point of view about privacy, about the private sector and this being controlled by the government."

According to the diplomat, Washington fights for nations to act according to the rules of the international community and to comply with the agreements signed. "When not, President Trump and my country are demanding reciprocity, especially in trade relations," he said.

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Todd Chapman was also asked about the possibility of China using the production of medical equipment and masks to gain geopolitical influence during the global crisis caused by the coronavirus. "I don't see it that way," he replied.

"I think this is a time for all of us to work together," he said. “That is why we are going to work here in Brazil and worldwide to extinguish the fire of this disease. We are proud of everything we have done to support the whole world in various situations like this and we will continue to work like this in Latin America and the world ”.


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