US lawmakers rally behind India in its hour of disaster

Washington, April 26

Top US lawmakers rallied behind India in its hour of crisis urging the Biden administration to provide material and health-care assistance to India to help save lives from the deadly coronavirus.

In a rare move, at a time when the Congress is bitterly divided on political lines, Senators Mark Warner from the ruling Democratic party and John Cornyn from the opposition Republican party jointly called on the White House to accelerate its assistance to India.

“As co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus, we urged them to do everything possible to help our friends in India in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis,” Warner said.

“Glad to also be joined in this effort by Senator Susan Collins. Support for our ally India is bipartisan. We should do everything we can to help them fight back against COVID-19.”

Warner and Cornyn, the two powerful Senators in their respective parties, are co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus, the only country-specific caucus in the United States’ Senate.

Congresswoman Val Demings said under President Joe Biden’s leadership the US has done 200 million vaccine doses in 100 days. A shot must be available for every American, she said.

“We must also be a global leader. We cannot stand back and allow mass deaths. I commend the administration’s announcement today and strongly support more, ASAP,” Demings said.

Congresswoman Sara Jacobs said providing support to India, including boosting their vaccine programme, is absolutely the right thing to do. “Moving forward, supporting vaccine programmes around the world will be essential. If the last year has shown us anything, it’s that global health impacts all of us.”

This is India’s moment of need and America must answer the call to help, said Congressman Andy Kim.

“Biden administration announced strong initial steps. I urge Biden to now authorise release of AstraZeneca vaccine to India and other allies. Alliances are tested in the darkest of days, and we must step up,” he said. PTI

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