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COVID-19 VACCINE BUTTON

RELEASE: Khanna, India Caucus Urges Biden To Do More For India

April 30, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Ro Khanna (CA-17), Congressional India Caucus Vice Chair and Member of the House Armed Services Committee, joined the India Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Brad Sherman (CA-30) and Rep. Steve Chabot (OH-01), in addition to co-Vice Chair Rep. Michael Waltz (FL-06), in sending a letter to President Joseph R. Biden. In the letter, the India Caucus leadership urges the Biden administration to send much-needed resources and raw materials to the Indian people, in addition to asking that lives be prioritized over intellectual property ownership. 

“We are watching a catastrophe unfold in India,” said Rep. Ro Khanna. “Someone is dying of COVID every 4 minutes in New Delhi. The least we can do is give the world the tools to prevent more deaths. We must do our part to quell the virus anywhere and everywhere it persists. It is not enough to vaccinate every American. We need to ensure the world beats this thing. That’s why the India Caucus is asking President Biden to send more oxygen and other medical supplies to help India in the manufacturing of additional vaccines. There’s simply too much at stake.”

The Members argued it is “in the U.S. interest for everyone in India to be vaccinated. To the extent it is possible, we hope that you will work to provide India with vaccines. With this in mind, we welcome recently announced plans to make available sources of raw materials to help India manufacture more vaccines. Further, we ask that you share with India surplus doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine as soon as possible. Finally, we also understand that India is eager to domestically produce high-quality U.S. vaccines. We hope that you work with the private sector to assess how the U.S. can best advance cooperation in this regard.” 

Following the Caucus’ conversation with India’s Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu, the Members asked that President Biden provide India with the following items: 

·       Oxygen Cylinders, 10 liters and 45 liters Liquid Medical Oxygen Capacity

·       Oxygen Concentrators

·       Oxygen Generator Plants  

In addition to oxygen and related systems, India also needs several other items including: 

·       Remdesivir

·       Tocilizumab

·       Ventilators/BiPAP

 

The full letter can be viewed below or downloaded here.

 

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The Honorable Joseph R. Biden

The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20500

RE: COVID-19 India

 

President Biden,

As the bipartisan Co-Chairs and Vice Chairs of the House Caucus on India and Indian Americans, we are extremely concerned with regards to India's deadly COVID-19 second wave. India is now the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wednesday was the country’s deadliest day with 3,293 deaths reported, carrying the total to 201,187 fatalities. According to Reuters, one person is dying of COVID every four minutes in the capital New Delhi, one of the hardest-hit cities. The sharp increase in cases has severely strained the healthcare system, overwhelming hospitals, and depleting oxygen supplies.  India is in great need of oxygen, therapeutics, and vaccines.

Reflecting the strength of the U.S.-India relationship, we thank you for ordering the delivery of supplies worth more than $100 million to provide urgent relief to India. From oxygen support, personal protective equipment (PPE), rapid diagnostic tests, to therapeutics, U.S. support for India is a testament to the seven decades of U.S.-India health partnership. The United States and India have worked closely together to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our support for India to help beat back this latest wave is in the U.S. national interest as the pandemic will not end anywhere until it ends everywhere.

Per our recent conversation with India’s Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India still desperately requires several items, most notably oxygen and oxygen production equipment. The images and stories of patients in desperate need of oxygen with nowhere to turn put a human face on India’s urgent need for this equipment. Thus, we would welcome your immediate attention to provide India with the following items:

  • Oxygen Cylinders, 10 liters and 45 liters Liquid Medical Oxygen Capacity
  • Oxygen Concentrators
  • Oxygen Generator Plants  

In addition to oxygen and related systems, India also needs several other items including:

  • Remdesivir
  • Tocilizumab
  • Ventilators/BiPAP

We sincerely appreciate your effort to provide India in the coming days with the additional supplies listed above and to work to supply other items that India might need as the second wave continues to surge, such as additional PPE and tests.

It is also in the U.S. interest for everyone in India to be vaccinated. To the extent it is possible, we hope that you will work to provide India with vaccines. With this in mind, we welcome recently announced plans to make available sources of raw materials to help India manufacture more vaccines. Further, we ask that you share with India surplus doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine as soon as possible. Finally, we also understand that India is eager to domestically produce high-quality U.S. vaccines. We hope that you work with the private sector to assess how the U.S. can best advance cooperation in this regard.

As you continue to assess the situation in India, we ask that you consider fulfilling the additional needs outlined above. As long as COVID persists in India, there is the potential for additional variants that could pose a serious threat to a vaccinated America. We must do our part to quell the virus everywhere it persists. We thank you again for your commitments to date to support our ally India through this COVID crisis, and we look forward to continuing to work with you to advance the U.S.-India relationship.

 

Sincerely,

Brad Sherman    

Steve Chabot

Ro Khanna                                                                       

Michael Waltz

 

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About the Office

Congressman Khanna represents the 17th District of California, which covers communities in Silicon Valley. Visit his website at khanna.house.gov. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RepRoKhanna.