Heartbreaking situation in India: Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris spoke on the crisis in India for the first time after the Biden administration pledged assistance worth $100 million to help the country fight the second wave of the pandemic.
US Vice President Kamala Harris.(AFP)
US Vice President Kamala Harris.(AFP)
Published on May 08, 2021 06:40 AM IST
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ByYashwant Raj, Washington

US vice-president Kamala Harris said on Friday the situation in India, which is battling a devastating second wave of Covid-19 cases, is “nothing short of heartbreaking” and America is “determined to help India in its hour of need”.

Harris spoke on the crisis in India for the first time after the Biden administration pledged assistance worth $100 million to help the country fight the second wave of the pandemic.

Planeloads of supplies have already reached India including refillable oxygen cylinders, N95 masks, and remdesivir. The US has also announced support for India and South Africa’s proposal at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to temporarily waive intellectual property rights on Covid-19 vaccines to ensure easy access to them around the world.

“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,” Harris said in a recorded video message played at a US state department virtual event on American support and the role of the Indian diaspora.

Harris said, “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.”

She gave a timeline of how the US came to announce the assistance, starting with a phone call between US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 26, a Monday. “By Friday, April 30, military members from the US and civilians were delivering relief on the ground,” she said.

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