One little-noticed-but-highly-significant saga in the U.S.’s battle against the coronavirus was the Trump Administration’s recent decision to provide major assistance to virus-ravaged Italy.
In a far-ranging “Memorandum on Providing Covid-19 Assistance to the Italian Republic” issued on April 10, the President spelled out a widespread plan for dealing with the virus through numerous U.S. government agencies and Cabinet Departments working in partnership with the Italian government.
Now, some Italians are saying that this assistance — coming at a time the U.S. has already increased its deficit by several trillion dollars to help its own people — could have a major impact on the European Union.
Italian critics of the European Union and the European financial community see the U.S. aid package strengthening the American hand in Italy while weakening that of the EU.
“We know that the speed of response to an emergency has enormous importance, and this is exactly what does not happen in the EU,” Mario Gualco, president of the National Confederation of Crafts and Small and Medium Enterprises, told Newsmax.
Gualco, whose organization represents 621,000 associates employing 1.2 million people, pointed out that “weeks go by and decisions that arrive [from the EU] do not seem conclusive, regarding the seriousness of the problem. So, the Italian government is faced with the need to receive aid in order.”
The American intervention, in Gualco’s view “appears to be an investment for the future, aimed at weakening the EU, which is already weakened by Brexit, which could not bear adding an ‘Italexit’ without completely disintegrating.”
He also cited the fragility of the EU and the European economy. On Friday, European stocks suddenly fell after a days-long winning streak when EU leaders failed to agree on a stimulus package for its member-nations.
Among those playing key roles in helping Italy through the crisis are the State and Defense Departments, the Agency for International Development, the Commerce and Health and Human Services Departments, and non-governmental organizations (including faith-based organizations).
In responding to a plea from Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the President noted that Italy has suffered more than 18,000 deaths from the virus, that the virus has “brought much of the Italian healthcare system to the brink of collapse and threatens to push Italy’s economy into a deep recession.”.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.