WASHINGTON: Several US lawmakers have expressed concern over the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in India and have urged the Biden administration to provide all necessary help to the country.
“We have the resources to help, and other people need it; that makes it our moral obligation to do so,” Democratic Senator Edward Markey said in a tweet.
India is reporting the world’s highest ever single-day coronavirus cases, he added. “Earth Day is about the health of the planet and everyone and everything on it. The US has more than enough vaccines for every American, but we are denying countries like India desperately needed support,” Markey said.
Congressman Gregory Meeks, Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he was concerned about the
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“Sending my thoughts and support to our friends in India fighting this terrible second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
Congresswoman Haley Stevens said that her thoughts are with the people of India during this devastating Covid-19 surge.
“I am praying for the families experiencing unbelievable suffering right now and am urging coordination among the international community to help where possible to stop this horrific outbreak,” Stevens said.
Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna, while sharing a tweet from eminent public health expert Ashish K Jha, said, “India is in the throes of a horrendous Covid surge. Horrendous. They are struggling to get more people vaccinated.”
“We are sitting on 35-40 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine Americans will never use. Can we please give or lend them to India? Like maybe now? It’ll help. A lot,” Jha had said.
A lethal, fast-paced second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has brought India’s health care systems to the verge of collapse and is putting millions of lives and livelihoods at risk, wrote Ramanan Laxminarayan, an economist and epidemiologist, in The New York Times.
According to The Wall Street Journal, hospitals in New Delhi and other hard-hit cities have been turning away patients and running low on oxygen, beds, and other medical supplies.
Several Indian-American groups have started raising funds to urgently airlift medical supplies including oxygen to help India in its fight against coronavirus.
“This is truly a humanitarian crisis of apocalyptic proportions which needs an immediate response,” wrote Indian-American Mike Sikand, chairman Oceanport Democratic Committee in New Jersey to Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“Therefore, I urge you to take whatever steps you can take in your capacity as the Chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee to help India in its hour of need. One such step could be sending emergency respiratory supplies to India. Which could use oxygen equipment, ventilators, etc,” he said.
“Another step that you could take is to help increase hospital bed capacity in India by providing equipment and financial assistance to set up makeshift hospitals or even sending USS Mercy to help India deal with this crisis,” Sikand said in the letter to Menendez.