The American Los Angeles Times highlighted the UAE’s assistance to Las Vegas, Nevada’s largest city, which enabled it to open one of the state’s largest coronavirus testing sites, in a move that is just around the corner to reopen its economy.
“The Gift of Bin Zayed”
In its report published on its website, the newspaper said that this matter may not have been possible without donating more than 200,000 test kits, amounting to $20 million from the United Arab Emirates.
How does Las Vegas deal with coronavirus?
It noted that within weeks of the arrival of the Coronavirus in Las Vegas, citizens began demanding that they are tested while hospitals and laboratories were running out of supplies. Nasal swabs were so difficult that some clinics were closed, and state officials requested help from the federal government.
Within weeks of the coronavirus reaching Las Vegas, members of the public were clamoring to be tested, and hospitals and laboratories were running out of supplies.
Then, came a donation from the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. https://t.co/zTGhBMusKG
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) May 22, 2020
Despite the flow of aid from Washington to Las Vegas, which allowed its hospitals to purchase more “Corona tests,” the donation of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed had the greatest impact in reviving the American city in light of the pandemic, according to members of the Response and Relief Committee to confront the virus.
Jim Morin, the former CEO of MGM who heads the committee, said that the “The gift of Bin Zayed” was the fruit of talks with the UAE’s “G42” group of artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
Although the talks initially focused on how to bring concerts and sporting events back to Las Vegas during the epidemic, Maureen said that his UAE counterparts quickly realized that Nevada did not have enough test supplies to help stem the spread of the disease.
At the time, the state was only able to test hundreds, not thousands, daily. The people who were tested at the time were bearing the burden of waiting long periods until the results were known If their samples were shipped out of state to private labs in California or Arizona, they could take up to two weeks.
Hence, when state health officials know that someone has been infected, it is “too late” to prevent them from spreading the infection.
UAE aid saved Las Vegas from Corona epidemic
In mid-April, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Nevada, granted more than 200,000 test kits, along with advanced technical materials from the “G42” group, in order to reduce equipment shortages, expand laboratory tests to combat corona, and accelerate the state’s schedule to reopen its economy.
Morin said that these technical materials would facilitate an innovative study on the genetic sequence of the virus that causes “Covid-19”, and enhance the capabilities of the US state to conduct more research, with the aim of reducing its impact on its citizens and visitors during the crisis period.
UAE sends 200,000 Covid-19 testing kits to Nevada
The estimated value of the Emirati donations from $15 million to $20 million, based on the rate of medical care reimbursement for test groups.
In addition to the humanitarian drive, the newspaper said the UAE has a financial interest in reviving Las Vegas. There is the Dubai World Central project, which includes half of the vast City Center complex, which when opened in 2009, was the largest and most expensive private development project in the city.
Since last week, Nevada Governor Steve Sisulack has allowed reopening of hairdressing salons, restaurants, outdoor shopping malls, retail, and barber shops, while adhering to strict spatial guidelines. But the core of the state’s economy – the casinos, nightclubs, resorts, and lounges that make Vegas an international destination – has remained closed since mid-March.
“The test (corona exams) is an economic imperative,” Morin said, adding, “I don’t think we can reopen a sustainable economy anywhere unless we can improve consumer confidence.”
Comparison between the USA and UAE donation
Although Nevada received money and supplies from the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, the newspaper considered that it did not match the size or speed of UAE donations.
According to state health officials, the Emergency Management Agency, Nevada, has provided 26,000 test swabs, 25,000, and 600 transport test components. Officials said there were more supplies on the way, but had yet to arrive.
For Morin and others on the Corona Combat Committee in Nevada, the Emirati “gift” is the result of relationships that business leaders in Las Vegas have forged abroad. But public health experts, who praised the donations, saw them as “a condemnation of the US government’s response to the epidemic.”
Jeffrey Levy, professor of public health at George Washington University, said that the Emirati donation “reflects the failure of the federal government to fulfil its responsibility to ensure that in a time of scarcity every community gets the resources it needs to cope with the epidemic.”
The disease outbreak, the University Medical Center of Nevada has been testing only less than 100 people per day with only a handful of devices that can process samples. When the smears almost ran out, the donated supplies from Abu Dhabi were relied upon.
Now, 5,000 tests per day are possible, with expectations for twice that number by June.