U.S. works with NATO to respond to COVID-19

The United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies are helping allied and partner nations combat COVID-19 across two continents.

NATO’s defense ministers met April 15 by teleconference and pledged to continue their efforts against the outbreak. The alliance has flown more than 100 missions supporting medical relief efforts and helped build 25 field hospitals, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters after the meeting.

“All NATO allies are affected by the pandemic. But not in the same way at the same time,” he said. “So when we effectively coordinate our resources, we make a real difference.”

U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said allies are sharing medical equipment, supplies and expertise where they are needed most. For example, in response to requests submitted through NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center, U.S. forces have delivered critical medical supplies to NATO allies and partners including Italy, North Macedonia, Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. NATO continues to coordinate support by matching assistance requests with resources among allies.

“We are seeing how increased investments in defense are paying dividends for the alliance in a time of crisis,” Hutchison said.

North Macedonia became the 30th NATO member in March. Today the alliance preserves security for nearly 1 billion citizens.

“As President Trump has said, the NATO alliance has been the bulwark of international peace and security for over 70 years,” Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said in a March 27 statement.