Biden admin criticised for not releasing Covid shots to India

Biden admin criticised for not releasing Covid shots to India

Washington DC: The Biden administration has come under criticism from several quarters, including from members and supporters of the Democratic party, for not releasing surplus COVID-19 vaccines to India when the country is experiencing its worst-ever public health crisis.

Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi urged the Biden administration to release doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to countries currently experiencing the deadly surge in COVID-19 cases.

When people in India and elsewhere desperately need help, we can't let vaccines sit in a warehouse, we need to get them where they'll save lives, he said.

We are currently sitting on close to 40 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the US stockpile, a stockpile which we're not using and which we've already opened to combat COVID-19 in Mexico and Canada, he said.

To curb the spread of this virus internationally and to protect public health and our international economy, the US needs to get these vaccines out the door now, he said. I respectfully but strongly call on the Biden administration to release millions of AstraZeneca vaccine doses to countries hardest hit by the spread of COVID-19, including India, Argentina, and potentially others, Krishnamoorthi said.

A record single-day rise of 3,46,786 Coronavirus cases on Saturday pushed India's tally of infection to 1,66,10,481, while active cases crossed the 25-lakh mark.

The Biden administration is losing any goodwill it gained in the last few months, Tanvi Madan from the Brookings Institute said in a tweet.

Indian public has now seen tweets from Pakistani PM & Iranian FM; had offers of help from Russia & China -- i.e. even a country it has had hostilities with.

It has not heard from any senior US officials.

The Biden administration is losing any goodwill it gained in the last few months, Madan said.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced that the US will rapidly deploy additional support to India and its health care heroes to combat the massive surge in Coronavirus infections in the country. Earlier, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the US was working closely with Indian officials at both the political and experts' level to identify ways to help address the health crisis.

While on the other hand, Saudi Arabia is shipping 80 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen to India as the country is running low on supplies due to an unprecedented spike in Coronavirus cases.

"Embassy of India is proud to partner with Adani group and M/s Linde in shipping much-needed 80MT liquid oxygen to India. Our heartfelt thanks to the Ministry of Health Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for all their help, support, and cooperation, the Indian mission in Riyadh tweeted.

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