U.S Ambassador Donald Lu’s Remarks on the Occasion of USAID’s Handover of Oxygen Concentrators to the Kyrgyz Republic

November 25, 2020

Mrs. Zhunusheva, Dr. Maanaev, Dr. Aaliyev, Dr. Tolbashieva, Dr. Ainura,  respected doctors and nurses in the red zone,

Two weeks ago, I did not know what a high-flow oxygen concentrator was or why it was important in the treatment of severe cases of COVID-19.  Ten days ago my mother and stepfather in California were diagnosed with coronavirus.  For the past week, my stepfather has been in a hospital intensive care unit and kept alive because of this miraculous machine.

What I learned is that, unlike normal oxygen concentrators, these high-flow machines can create a pure oxygen environment.  They also produce high-pressure oxygen that supports ventilators for people who are having severe breathing problems and cannot breathe on their own.

We are pleased that USAID and Abt Associates worked closely with the Ministry of Health to identify, purchase and install each of these six units in five Kyrgyz hospitals.   USAID and WHO have purchased an additional 100 portable oxygen concentrators to reach patients in more remote regions of the country.  In the hands of skilled Kyrgyz doctors and nurses, these oxygen concentrators will perform miracles.

My stepfather is hoping to be released from the hospital today, just in time for the American Thanksgiving holiday.  On behalf of my mom, my stepfather, and all the people who have been sick and have had their lives saved by courageous health workers, thank you.  Thank you to the doctors and nurses of the National Hospital and the Republican Infectious Disease Hospital.  Thank you to medical workers around the country.

We are all looking forward to a day when we will not need to worry about COVID-19 infection.  We can see light at the end of the tunnel, and we know that day will come soon. Until then, we thank you for risking your lives to save our lives.