The US will “work around the clock” to help India as it battles a “devastating” surge in COVID-19 cases and Washington is doing everything it can to help, including deploying raw materials for vaccines, ventilators, oxygen generation supplies, and financial support for vaccine expansion, the US Ambassador to the UN said on Monday.
“I want to take a moment to talk about the heartbreaking situation in India. The most recent spike of COVID-19 cases there has been devastating. The United States stands in solidarity with the people of India,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said during a closed virtual dialogue hosted by the United States, Argentina, Japan, Norway, and South Africa on Pandemic Preparedness and Response.
She said the US is doing everything it can to help, including deploying raw materials for vaccines, as well as therapeutics, rapid diagnostic kits, ventilators, oxygen generation supplies, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and USAID public health teams, and financial support for vaccine expansion.
“We will work around the clock to help our ally and alleviate the suffering. And we implore others to do so as well,” she said.
Thomas-Greenfield noted that as India so “unfortunately demonstrates”, it is hard to overstate the impact COVID-19 has had on the world.
Over 142 million people have gotten infected from COVID-19 and over three million people have died.
“And, as we all know, the impacts were not limited to the illness itself. We’ve learned the hard way that global health isn’t just about viruses and disease. It touches every aspect of life itself. Economies have suffered. Gender-based violence has spiked. Kids have been forced to stay home from school, and millions — including an estimated 11 million girls according to UNESCO — may not return,” she said.
Thomas-Greenfield underlined that the takeaway from this past year is clear: “the world barely withstood this pandemic. We must be ready for the next”.
“We cannot continue to under-invest — after outbreaks, epidemics, and now a pandemic — in our capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats”.
India is witnessing a devastating wave of COVID-19 as it registers more than three lakh cases every day and over 2,000 deaths over the past few days.
US President Joe Biden had tweeted Sunday that “Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need”.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval about the spike in COVID-19 cases in India and “we agreed to stay in close touch in the coming days. The United States stands in solidarity with the people of India and we are deploying more supplies and resources,” he said.
US Defence Secretary Austin Lloyd has also directed the Pentagon to provide all necessary support to Indian healthcare workers battling the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.