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Several US lawmakers have called on the Biden administration to provide India with sufficient COVID-19 vaccines and medical care, saying the country’s health crisis is “devastating” and America has a responsibility to help its closest allies defeat the pandemic.
US lawmakers have called on the US government to send more vaccines and medical aid to India after President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that the US will provide 75 percent – almost Rs 1.9 crore of the first tranche of 2.5 crore doses – of unused COVID-19. vaccines from their stocks to South and Southeast Asia and Africa by the end of June.
Biden said the US will share the vaccine with many countries to combat the pandemic through the UN-backed COVAX Global Vaccine Exchange Program as part of his administration’s program to distribute 80 million (8 crore) vaccines worldwide.
“The crisis in India is devastating and requires additional action on the part of (President Joe) Biden. More COVID-19 vaccines and medical supplies are needed to help one of our most important global allies fight the virus, ”said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
In a tweet, the Republican governor urged US citizens to join him in prayer for India.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz said nearly 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States.
“India is a critical friend of the United States. Biden’s vaccine exchange program is flawed: we must prioritize our allies like India and make sure it gets the COVID-19 vaccines they desperately need, ”he said.
Senator Roger Wicker of the Senate Armed Services Committee said it was important for the United States to continue helping other countries defeat the coronavirus. “Sending extra vaccines to close allies like India doesn’t just make sense, it’s the right thing to do,” he said.
Rep. Michael McCall, a high-ranking member of the House of Representatives for Foreign Affairs, tweeted: “Glad to see that critical vaccines and other therapies will be shipped to India to continue to support a longtime partner and ally.”
He said, as Texans, it strengthens the close ties between “our community and the Indian-American diaspora.”
Congressman Adam Smith praised President Biden for steps taken to help countries in need of assistance.
“The COVID-19 crisis in India and elsewhere has been devastating and more vaccines and medical supplies are still needed,” said the chairman of the influential House Armed Services Committee.
“To defeat COVID-19, we must fight it both at home and globally,” added Smith, a Democrat.
Indian-American Congressman Ro Hannah, who is also a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said that in order to help India cope with the shortage, the US must ship vaccines it will never use, just like India helped America in difficult times.
Congressman Dan Crenshaw said Houston is home to a large Indian community with friends and families in need in India. “This should be a priority in this international program,” he tweeted.
Noting that the situation with COVID-19 in India is “heartbreaking”, Congressman August Pfluger said that the United States is obliged to help his ally.
“We must immediately send additional vaccines and essential supplies,” he said.
The United States also sent essential medical equipment and medicines to India to fight the second wave of COVID-19.
Congressman Darren Soto said that as a member of the Indian Group, he thanked President Biden for announcing 25 million vaccines for hard-hit countries like India.
“Let us continue to take the necessary steps to combat the second deadly wave of COVID-19 with surplus medical supplies and vaccines,” said a member of the House Energy and Trade Committee.
Congressman John Curtis said that while 63 percent of American adults have received at least one shot, many of the US’s friends do not have access to vaccines.
“It’s important that we share with countries like India that getting back to normal and ending this brutal pandemic will require some global cooperation,” said Curtis, a member of the House Energy and Trade Committee.
Congressman Troy Nels has called on Biden to immediately ship surplus vaccines to India to help India fight COVID-19. He is a member of the Home Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
In this global health crisis, it is important for America to target surplus COVID-19 vaccines to those who need it most, Congressman French Hill said. “The situation in India, one of our closest allies, is dire. I urge the Biden administration to support India with vaccines in times of need, ”said Hill, a member of the House Financial Services Committee.
Congressman Tim Burchett said the US needs to make sure India gets the COVID-19 vaccines.
“The response to the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic must be global. We must work to close the gaps in our global alert system and work with our allies to ensure that this never happens again, ”Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick tweeted.
On Monday, India reported 100,636 new cases of COVID-19 infection, the lowest in 61 days, bringing the total number of infections to 2.89 09,975, according to the latest figures from the Union Ministry of Health. The death toll from the coronavirus reached 3.49,186 with 2,427 deaths, the lowest in about 45 days.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated channel.)
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