Remarks by Ambassador Ronald Johnson at the Donation of 250 Medical Ventilators to El Salvador

Remarks by Ambassador Ronald Johnson at the Donation of 250 Medical Ventilators to El Salvador

May 26, 2020

I want to thank President Bukele for having this donation ceremony a couple of days after the formal transfer was made. Last week we wanted to give these ventialors to those who needed them urgently. Director Martínez, thank you for the hospitality here at the Rosales Hospital, I am very impressed with the facility. Thank you.

This is an extremely important day for El Salvador and the United States. It is an important moment and my message is simple: working together to save lives. This moment is about our friendship. This donation represents the spirit of generosity of the American people and also the strong ties that unite us at all levels; from our government to our people.

Today the U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is donating 250 portable mechanical ventilators to El Salvador. This represents a donation of more than $3 million. This highly specialized medical equipment, produced in the United States, uses state-of-the-art technology to help patients with breathing problems, one of the most serious symptoms of COVID-19 and one of the leading causes of death. These ventilators are portable and can be used anywhere El Salvador needs them most. 

The United States is still in a serious fight against Coronavirus; it has killed 100,000 of my fellow American citizens. However we are motivated to help our friends here in El Salvador. What we are giving today means that thousands of lives will be saved in the coming months. Especially the lives of those who are most vulnerable.

Today, we are honoring a commitment personally made by President Donald Trump to President Nayib Bukele. A commitment to support the people of El Salvador in their time of need in the fight against the Coronavirus.

These ventilators are for everyone. They are for anyone who needs them. We all know that the virus does not discriminate between rich and poor, between political parties or other categories. This donation, as well as this Hospital, is for Salvadorans who need it, without any other criteria.

I am even more pleased to announce that El Salvador is one of the first countries in the world to receive these ventilators. For decades, the United States has stood by El Salvador in its times of crisis, donating medical equipment, developing infrastructure, training medical personnel, and providing medical campaigns. We, as democratic allied countries, understand the importance of working together to empower our people, the most valuable resource we have.

Today, I call on all the organs and branches of government, the private sector and civil society, the media and all people, to have a spirit of collaboration and mutual respect. This pandemic has completely changed our daily lives, but the most important thing we can do right now is to work together to care for our people. 

At the same time, we know that the economic well-being of the country and the prosperity of Salvadorans depend on reviving the economy. That is why we have also announced $2 million to support efforts to revitalize the economy and help people return to work as soon as possible.

We need to work together, and we hope that El Salvador will continue the collaboration with U.S. business owners in order to produce the  life-saving medical supplies that support efforts against the coronavirus in both our two countries.

We will continue working day and night, adjusting our strategies to face the challenges and consequences that this pandemic has brought to both of our countries. We are together in this fight and only together can we overcome it.

Thank you Mr. President, thank you all and God bless you.

## This translation is provided as a courtesy.  Only the original Spanish transcript should be considered authoritative ##