Covid-19: Biden admin urged to send 30 million US vaccine stockpiles to India
Washington, Apr 26: An Indian-American political advocacy group on Monday urged the Biden administration to send 30 million of its stockpiled COVID-19 vaccines to India as the country is battling a health crisis due to the deadly coronavirus.
In a statement, IMPACT asked the White House to send at least half of the US' stockpile of approximately 60 million surplus vaccines to India - where half of the world's new COVID-19 infections are currently happening.
"This is not just a crisis for India, it's a global crisis and India has become the epicenter. A global crisis requires a global response," said Neil Makhija, executive director of IMPACT.
"If the US does not act quickly, new COVID-19 variants will continue to spill over into countries across the globe and into our backyard. As the US has done in the past, it must lead in this time of crisis and send immediate relief to India," he said.
Makhija commended the Biden-Harris administration for providing critical medical supplies and lifting the embargo on vaccine raw materials necessary for India to produce the Covishield vaccine.
"But the scale of the response should match the scale of the crisis, and we call on the administration to do more. Redirecting a majority of our surplus vaccines to India will save millions of lives and support ending the pandemic globally," it said.
"By sending emergency medical supplies in addition to life-saving vaccines, the US can help fight against this global public health and humanitarian crisis. The Biden-Harris administration is uniquely poised to demonstrate America's global leadership in the fight to end this pandemic," he said.
"Nearly half of the world's new COVID-19 infections are happening in India. The US must deploy its resources in a proportional matter that meets the needs of this massive global crisis," Makhija said.
IMPACT said that it is engaged in regular conversations with the Biden administration and is supporting efforts to circulate a letter from Congress spearheaded by Representative Krishnamoorthi.
"We are also galvanising the Indian diaspora in the United States with a petition to call on the White House to take these urgent actions and fight against the COVID surge in India. With nearly 5 million Indian Americans in the US, nearly every family has relatives, friends, and loved ones across India suffering from this urgent health crisis," it said.