US lawmakers urge Biden to send surplus COVID vaccine to Indiatext_fields
Washington: The US lawmakers have called on the Biden government to send more vaccines and medical assistance to India, saying America has a responsibility to help its close allies defeat the pandemic.
"The crisis in India is devastating and demands more action from (President Joe) Biden. More COVID-19 vaccines and medical supplies are needed to help one of our most important global allies fight this virus," said Texas Governor Greg Abbott in a tweet.
The request comes after President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that the US will allocate 75 per cent - nearly 1.9 crores of the first tranche of 2.5 crore doses - of unused COVID-19 vaccines from its stockpile to countries in South and Southeast Asia as well as Africa by the end of June, through the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing programme which intends to share 80 million (8 crores) vaccines globally.
Senator Roger Wicker from the Senate Armed Services Committee also backed the request and said that it is important for the US to continue helping other nations beat the coronavirus. "Sending excess vaccines to close allies like India doesn't just make sense, it is the right thing to do," he said.
Congressman Michael McCaul, a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs, tweeted, "Glad to see critically needed vaccines and other therapeutics will be sent to India to continue to support a longstanding partner and ally."
Congressman Troy Nehls also urged Biden to immediately send surplus vaccines to India to help it in its fight against COVID-19. He is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Meanwhile, India reported 1,00,636 fresh COVID-19 cases on Monday, the lowest in 61 days, taking the infection tally to 2,89,09,975, according to the Union Health Ministry's latest data. The death toll due to coronavirus reached 3,49,186 with 2,427 new fatalities, the lowest in around 45 days.