India is experiencing an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths, and the United States has come to the aid of its partner. Not only have the two countries worked together on global health issues for seven decades, India’s generosity to the United States in the early days of the pandemic when hospitals in this country were strained is remembered and appreciated.
In its surge of support to combat the COVID-19 crisis in India, the U.S. government has provided more than $100 million in assistance to date. At a press briefing on May 11, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price announced six airlifts were deployed to India in the course of six days:
“Among the supplies included in those airlifts: 20,000 courses of remdesivir, nearly 1,500 oxygen cylinders, 550 mobile oxygen concentrators, 1 million rapid diagnostic tests, nearly 2.5 million N-95 masks, a large-scale deployable oxygen concentration system, pulse oximeters, and I could go on…In addition, USAID immediately allocated funding to purchase locally an additional 1,000 mobile oxygen concentrators.”
To maximize collaboration, the United States is also working closely with individual donors, the private sector, and NGOs. Spokesperson Price highlighted that the private sector has committed to donating another $400 million in assistance to India so far — a move, he said, the U.S. government is “terrifically gratified to see.”
To support the global response to end the pandemic, White House COVID-19 Response Team Senior Adviser Andrew Slavitt said that the United States is also looking at options to share safe and effective vaccines with other countries as they become available.
The Biden-Harris Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, the United States is also supporting a waiver of IP protections for COVID-19 Vaccines under the World Trade Organization.
The United States stands in solidarity with India as it battles this recent wave of COVID-19 cases and will continue to work closely with Indian officials and health experts to identify and respond to emerging trends in this ongoing crisis.
As Spokesperson Price has said, the U.S. commitment to come to India’s aid reflects President Biden’s commitment for the United States “to continue to be a leader when it comes to humanitarian relief and a leader when it comes to global public health.”