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Kamala Harris says India's COVID-19 crisis is 'heartbreaking'
India is currently experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases at an alarming rate, leading the US to send assistance. Vice President Kamala Harris also commented on the situation in India, describing the crisis as “heartbreaking.”
In a video message for an event at the US State Department last week, Harris spoke about the COVID-19 crisis that India is currently facing for the first time. Harris’s comments follow the announcement of the Biden administration’s pledge to send $100 million of COVID-19 assistance as an effort to help combat the pandemic in the country. In her message, Harris, who is of Indian descent, said that the US is determined to help India in this time of need.
“As many of you know, generations of my family come from India. My mother (Shyamala Gopalan) was born and raised in India, and I have family members who live in India today,” said Harris. “The welfare of India is critically important to the United States. The surge of COVID-19 infections and deaths in India is nothing short of heartbreaking.”
Harris also gave a timeline on how the US would announce its assistance to India that began with President Joe Biden’s phone call with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi back in April. Planes filled with supplies have already been en route to India, which included refillable oxygen cylinders, N95 masks, as well as remdesivir.
The US has also announced its support for the proposal made by India and South Africa at the World Trade Organization to temporarily waive the intellectual property rights on the COVID-19 vaccines to make them accessible all over the world.
Meanwhile, Harris also appeared at the VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World over the weekend, urging everyone to get vaccinated so as to save lives. Harris’s message follows Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden’s message to encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Biden and Harris’s appearances at the event reinforced the administration’s “We Can Do It” campaign that addresses vaccine hesitancy while making sure communities have access to public health resources in order to combat the pandemic.
Harris thanked everyone who had received their vaccinations while urging others to receive their shots when their turn has come.