United States Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday said the COVID-19 situation in India is "nothing short of heartbreaking". "The surge of COVID-19 infections & deaths in India is nothing short of heartbreaking. To those of you who have lost loved ones, I send my deepest condolences," she said.
Harris said as soon as the dire nature of the situation in India became apparent, the US administration took action. "Already, we've delivered refillable oxygen cylinders, with more to come. We've delivered oxygen concentrators, with more to come. We've delivered N95 masks, and have more ready to send. We have delivered doses of Remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients," she said.
Recounting India's assistance to the US during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US VP said they are "determined to help India in its hour of need". "At the beginning of the pandemic, when our hospital beds were stretched, India sent assistance. Today, we're determined to help India in its hour of need. We do this as friends of India, as members of Asian Quad & as part of the global community," she said.
"On Monday, April 26, President Joe Biden spoke with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to offer our support. By Friday, April 30, military members of the United States and civilians were delivering relief on the ground," Harris added.
"We have announced our full support for suspending patents on COVID-19 vaccines – to help India and other nations vaccinate their people more quickly. India and the United States have the greatest number of COVID-19 cases in the world," she further said.
Harris delivered her address at an online event "Bolstering US COVID Relief Efforts in India: Perspectives from the Diaspora" organised by the State Department. Her address was a message of solidarity with the people of India, as the US partners with the country to save lives and hasten the end of the coronavirus pandemic, the State Department said.