US Vice president Kamala Harris expressed concern over the current coronavirus crisis in India. Harris said that the surge of coronavirus infections and deaths in India is “nothing short of heartbreaking”.
“To those of you who have lost loved ones, I send my deepest condolences,” Harris added. She said that the Joe Biden administration sent all the assistance as soon as the situation became apparent.
According to Harris, the US has delivered “refillable oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, N95 masks, and doses of Remdesivir” to treat coronavirus patients in India.
She further pledged that the Biden administration is determined to help India in its hour of need. Harris said that the entire government machinery has been galvanised to help India in this hour of crisis.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, when our hospital beds were stretched, India sent assistance. Today, we’re determined to help India in its hour of need. We do this as friends of India, as members of Asian Quad and as part of the global community,” Kamala Harris said in her remarks at the State Department’s Diaspora outreach event on US COVID Relief for India.
Harris said that Indian-Americans have been raising millions of dollars and have been sending life-saving health care equipment and medicines to India. For instance, Sewa International USA has raised more than $10 million, American Association of Physicians of Indian-Origin or AAPI have raised $3.5 million and Indiaspora more than $2 million, Harris added.
“For years, diaspora groups like Indiaspora and the American India Foundation have built bridges between the United States and India. And this past year, you have provided vital contributions to COVID-19 relief efforts. Thank you for your work,” said the vice president.
“As many of you know, generations of my family come from India. My mother was born and raised in India. And I have family members who live in India today. The welfare of India is critically important to the United States,” Harris said.
“On April 26, President Joe Biden spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to offer America’s support. By April 30, US military members and civilians were delivering relief on the ground”, Harris added.
India is struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than 4,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days, and hospitals are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.
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