3 US Senators Urge Prez Biden To Hasten COVID Assistance to India
The senators also urged the administration to prepare a strategy on how the US can distribute its surplus vaccines.
In view of 3,00,000 new COVID cases every day in India, and its collapsing health infrastructure, three top US senators have urged the Biden-Harris administration to ramp up the assistance provided to India.
The three senators in a letter to Secretary of State Tony Blinken, also urged the administration to continue its contribution to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) COVAX plan and prepare a detailed strategy on how the US can distribute its surplus vaccines.
Mark Warner and John Cornyn are co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus. Mark Warner is from the Democratic Party, while John Cornyn and Portman are from the Opposition Republican Party.
The letter read, “As you know, India's healthcare system and infrastructure are struggling to meet the challenges posed by the current and largely unchecked surge, with the country averaging more than 3,00,000 new infections every day," PTI reported.
The three senators wrote, “We urge you to work with the Department of Defence and other US government agencies, as well as with our international partners and private sector partners to transfer more life-saving equipment, vaccines, and other support to India as quickly as possible.”
Far from facing a vaccine shortage, the United States could soon have as many as 300 million extra doses, news agency AFP reported.
The senators added that a detailed public strategy on how the Department of State plans to distribute these excess vaccines would clarify the ambiguity surrounding future US policy and provide needed certainty to India.
“Specifically in India”, the senators wrote, “disinformation has undermined the public health response, heightened already-tense religious tensions, and muddied the waters surrounding our support as they face an unprecedented surge in coronavirus infections”.
Senators Mark Warner, John Cornyn, and Ron Portman also asked the administration to combat “disinformation campaigns surrounding the vaccines by countries such as China and Russia”.
(With inputs from PTI)
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