STATEMENT: Khanna on India COVID-19 Crisis, Vaccine Stockpile
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Ro Khanna (CA-17), Congressional India Caucus Vice Chair and Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement in response to the dire COVID-19 crisis in India:
“International cooperation and humanitarian assistance are the hallmarks of a truly progressive foreign policy. In the face of apocalyptic numbers of COVID-19 cases & new variants exploding in India, I applaud the Biden Administration's decision to put people over profits and provide additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), oxygen, and other medical supplies to India. I am also pleased to see the deployment of raw materials for India to produce more vaccines and USAID’s work with the CDC to expedite the mobilization of emergency resources for India through the Global Fund. This must be done with the utmost speed and urgency.
The Biden Administration can still do more, like give India our stockpile of AstraZeneca vaccines that won’t be used in the U.S. and have already opened up to Mexico and Canada. And we should facilitate the Indian diaspora in America to help assist hospitals in India.
The Administration should also call on Pfizer and Moderna to provide an intellectual property waiver for six months to a year as India grapples with this crisis. It will buy them an inordinate amount of goodwill in one of the largest emerging markets. The White House should also convene Indian business leaders to make the case for why this is in these companies’ long-term strategic interest. Many Indian American business leaders such as Vinod Khosla are happy to make the case to them why this is a good business decision. Mr. Khosla has committed to financially help any hospitals in India in need of supplies and will also be speaking with the India Caucus leadership to discuss what else can be done to assist.
I look forward to joining the India Caucus leadership on a call with Indian Ambassador to India Taranjit Singh Sandhu to discuss what additional steps the U.S. can take to help India during this incredibly difficult time. This is a very tough time for the Indian people and underscores the continued threat of COVID-19. These new strains of the virus are gravely alarming and could pose a threat here in America and across the globe if we do not do all we can to contain the virus and its new variants.”
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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.