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In the fourth article in a new Wilson Center series on “medical diplomacy” in Latin America, the region hardest hit by COVID-19, Jean Manes, the foreign policy advisor to the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), details aspects of the U.S. pandemic response in the region, including $220 million for emergency supplies such as field hospitals, ventilators, and personal protective equipment.

In her article, “COVID-19 Assistance in the Western Hemisphere: The Role of SOUTHCOM,” Manes says SOUTHCOM has completed 370 projects in 28 countries in Latin America, including deliveries of hand sanitizer to rural schools in Costa Rica and medical tents in Jamaica. “These critical, lifesaving donations demonstrate ongoing commitment to our friends and allies, and it is simply the right thing to do,” she wrote.

Previous reports in this series, from the Wilson Center’s Latin American Program and Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, have examined China’s response to the coronavirus in Latin America and the impacts in Latin America of tensions between the United States and China. For more information on “medical diplomacy” in Latin America, please visit our interactive tracker and COVID-19 portal, where you can find previous papers in this series by Cynthia Sanborn, Jorge Heine, and Haibin Niu.

About the Author

Image - Ambassador Jean Manes

Ambassador Jean Manes

Civilian Deputy Commander and Foreign Policy Advisor, U.S. Southern Command
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Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more