The US will rapidly deploy additional support to India amidst the horrific Covid-19 outbreak, secretary of state Antony Blinken has said.
Blinken’s remarks came as pressure grew on the Biden administration to ship Covid-19 vaccines along with several life-saving medical supplies to India.
“Our hearts go out to the Indian people in the midst of the horrific COVID-19 outbreak. We are working closely with our partners in the Indian government, and we will rapidly deploy additional support to the people of India and India’s health care heroes,” Mr. Blinken tweeted.
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had said that U.S. and Indian officials and experts were in touch about the crisis and that the U.S. “offered its deepest sympathy to the people of India” and remarked on the historically high levels of health assistance the U.S. had given India. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Mr. Blinken spoke last week and discussed the COVID-19 situation but the State Department was unwilling to get into any details of the call beyond the readout.
Earlier on April 23, United states defends the restrictions on the export of key raw materials for the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccine that threatens to slow India’s vaccination drive.
During a press interaction in the United States, when asked by a reporter about India’s call to ease the export curbs as they threaten to slow the country’s vaccination drive, US state department spokesperson Ned Price told a briefing on Thursday that the Biden administration’s priority is to meet the vaccine requirements of the American people.
“What I will say broadly is that the US first and foremost is engaged in an ambitious and effective and, so far, successful effort to vaccinate the American people,” Price said.
“Number one, we have a special responsibility to the American people. Number two…this country has been hit harder than any other country around the world – more than 550,000 deaths, tens of millions of infections in this country alone. But there is also a broader point here that I made yesterday that it’s…not only in our interest to see Americans vaccinated, it’s in the interests of the rest of the world to see Americans vaccinated,” he added.