Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Alex Titolo
February, 16, 2021 at 11:00 a.m.
Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Plutarco Arias,
Honorable Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Carlos Luciano Diaz Morfa,
Honorable Director of the Emergency Operations Center (COE), Major General (retired) Juan Manuel Mendez,
Distinguished members of the press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honored to be with you today to mark another joint effort between the United States and the Dominican Republic in the fight against COVID. The eight mechanical ventilators, valued at $200,000, that the COE is receiving today will accompany two previously donated field hospitals, 50 ventilators delivered last year, and personal protective equipment and epidemiological expert advice provided by the United States. This wide array of assistance shows the breadth of our relationship – not merely donations of equipment, but expert advice and lasting partnership for a comprehensive approach to our shared challenges. As we have throughout this crisis, the United States will continue to show solidarity with its partners, and our presence here today is a sign of that enduring partnership. The United States stands with the Dominican people and their government through equipment donations like this one through our United States Southern Command, plus other material donations and capacity-building through our U.S. Agency for International Development and our Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With vaccination on the horizon, we are all looking forward to the end of this crisis. But we cannot and will not forget that in each of our nations we have fellow citizens suffering from COVID who we must help today. These ventilators will increase the capacity of the COE to save
Dominican lives immediately. And when COVID passes, as one day it will, the ventilators and the field hospitals will help the Dominican Republic provide medical assistance to its citizens and prepare for natural disasters.
The ventilators and the field hospitals are for the long-term benefit of the Dominican people, just as the relationship between our nations is for the long term. We at the U.S. Embassy in
Santo Domingo have been here, side by side with you from the beginning of this dark hour, and we will be here when it passes to help rebuild. Our nations are linked in so many ways, and together we will get through this and build an even stronger future for both our countries.
I want to thank all of the people involved in making this and all of our support for the Dominican Republic possible. During normal times, when we have a major donation like this we invite all the of the people who made it possible so that they can be recognized in person. Because of the need for distancing and limiting the number of people here today, that just is not possible. But I want our partners in the government and the Dominican people to know that at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo we have worked tirelessly over the past year to find ways to support you in this crisis. Standing behind this donation
and all of our assistance are teams from our Department of Defense, Agency for International Development, Centers for Disease Control, including back in the United States, who have worked hard to make this possible, even while dealing with the challenge from COVID we face at home.
Thank you again, Minister, and to our partners at the COE and across the government for their cooperation and partnership over many years.