US gears up to send Covid-19 relief material to India
The US has geared up to supply raw materials for vaccine and other relief materials to India after facing huge criticism internally from civilians and politicians as well
The United States has begun preparing for sending Covid-19 relief to India, a day after President Joe Biden announced support to the country in its fight against the pandemic.
US Secretary of State Tony Blinken has held a virtual meeting with leaders of the American corporate world to brief them on the Biden Administration's COVID-19 assistance to India.
Blinken met leaders of American businesses, the US Chamber of Commerce and the US-India Business Council on Monday to discuss how the expertise and capabilities of the American private sector can be leveraged to support urgent COVID-19 relief efforts in India, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a media briefing.
The meeting was attended by some 40 top American companies.
During the virtual briefing, Blinken, along with Coordinator for Global COVID Response and Health Security Gayle Smith, and National Security Council Coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, provided an update on the US assistance.
“Blinken expressed appreciation to US industry partners and reaffirmed that the United States stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of India as we continue to work toward solutions for the COVID-19 crisis,” Ned Price said.
“What we are witnessing in India is a stark reminder that while the United States has turned a corner in our efforts to combat the pandemic, our global partners are facing a staggering health crisis that requires a substantial public-private response,” said Suzanne Clark, president and chief executive officer of the US Chamber of Commerce.
“This global crisis requires a global response, and the American business community could not be better positioned, or more determined, to help lead the way,” she said.
The US Chamber of Commerce is working with its members to coordinate the outpouring of support from US companies across the country, and provide resources and information for businesses looking to play a larger role.
As part of these efforts, the US Chamber has developed Resources for India's COVID-19 crisis, including a portal through which American companies can offer in-kind donations.
The chamber is working closely with both the US and the Indian governments to facilitate the donation and distribution of critical goods and services, a media statement said.
“We understand the importance of public-private partnerships to address global problems,” said Suzanne Clark.
“The steps we take together can help the world's second-largest country and provide a playbook to combat the virus until safe and effective vaccines are more widely and globally available,” she added.
The support from the US in the Covid-19 crisis in India came much later than expected.
Answering a question raised on the same in a press briefing held on April 26, the US State Department Spokesperson said, “Well, I would take issue with the premise that it has taken us a long time. I would note that, of course, we have talked about our stepped-up assistance to India in recent hours. And we’ve always said as we assess we’re in a position to do more, we will do more, and you have heard us make good on that pledge. But from the earliest days of this pandemic, we have provided much-needed assistance to India, just as India came to our aid when we were enduring the worst of the pandemic here in this country.”