On a chilly November morning in the heart of Moscow, a young Russian medical student walks up to a man and asks, “What is your name?”
The man looks up, smiles, and says, “It’s me, Sergei.”
The young Russian is a doctor from the Russian Academy of Sciences, and he’s the first Russian doctor to receive a $1.4 million grant from the Trump administration.
In exchange for being part of the study, he must keep a low profile and not be seen as an enemy of Russia.
Russia has a long history of medical invasions.
In the 1980s, the Soviet Union’s government banned doctors from practicing medicine in the country.
By the 1990s, doctors from abroad were being deployed to help Russian citizens in remote regions of the country where they were often at a greater risk of infection.
The United States has long recognized the dangers of the threat.
In 2002, the then-President George W. Bush signed an executive order requiring that any foreign medical professionals who work in the U:a.r.c.s be vetted to ensure that they are not carrying out medical research activities that may be detrimental to the national security interests of the United States or pose a threat to the safety of the American people.
“We’ve been clear that the United Nations must step up and protect our borders,” Trump told reporters in March 2016, and “the medical invasiveness issue in Russia is a real concern.”
The Obama administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.