US rushing medical assistance to India to combat COVID surge: President Biden
President Joe Biden on Tuesday said the US was rushing a whole series of help to India, including remdesivir and other life-saving drugs, to help the country combat the massive surge in COVID-19 cases.
Speaking to reporters a day after he spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Biden noted that when America was facing a major health crisis, India helped his country by sending key drugs.
"I spoke at length with Prime Minister Modi. We are sending immediately a whole series of help that it needs, including providing remdesivir & other drugs that can deal with disease and help recovery," Biden said.
"We are sending actual mechanical parts that are needed for the machinery they have to build a vaccine. I have also discussed with him (Modi) when we will be able to send actual vaccines to India which will be my intention to do," he said.
"When we were in a bind at the very beginning (of the COVID-19 pandemic), India helped us," he said, referring to India, the largest producer of hydroxychloroquine, lifting the ban on the export of the medicine to the US after then President Donald Trump spoke to Modi on phone last year.
On Monday, Biden assured Modi that the United States and India will work closely together in the fight against COVID-19.
India is currently struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days, and hospitals are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.
Biden pledged America’s steadfast support for the people of India who have been impacted by the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
In response, the United States is providing a range of emergency assistance, including oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials, and therapeutics.
Prime Minister Modi expressed appreciation for the strong cooperation between both countries. The two leaders resolved that the United States and India will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the effort to protect our citizens and the health of our communities, the White House said in a readout of the telephonic conversation between Biden and Modi.