‘We need the masks, we don't want other people getting them’: Trump denies US medical supplies ‘piracy’

Addressing the accusations of ‘modern piracy’ for diverting shipments of vital protective masks from its allies in Germany, France and Canada to the US, President Donald Trump claimed the situation was the exact ‘opposite.’

The United States is suffering a severe medical-grade face cover shortage, even with federal authorities distributing millions of masks from the federal stockpiles, Trump said, noting that some of the states that have not been hit too hard yet are still demanding much more supplies than needed.

When asked about the controversy with the White House pressuring safety gear manufacturer 3M to step up imports of protective masks from its Chinese factories to the US – at the expense of other customers, including America’s closest allies – Trump dismissed the accusations of “modern piracy.”

There’s been no act of piracy. It was the opposite.

Trump did not clarify what he meant by the ‘opposite of piracy’ exactly, apparently suggesting that there were some legal grounds for seizing the shipments. Earlier this week, a delivery of 200,000 masks left a 3M factory in China for the German capital – only to be confiscated en route and diverted to the US, according to Berlin’s Senator for the Interior Andreas Geisel, who who shamed the supposed “transatlantic partners” for this “act of modern piracy.”

Also on rt.com US snatches masks from Germany in act of ‘modern piracy’ – Berlin senator

“If people do not give us what we need for our people, we are going to be very tough,” Trump said, answering a separate question about the US pressure on 3M. “You could call it a retaliation, because that’s what it is.”