Published: 04th June 2021
US government's top medical advisor appreciates India's contribution to COVID-19 prevention
Dr Anthony Fauci said that India's contribution to global scientific knowledge was well known and the knowledge was already helping in COVID-19 prevention
US President Joe Biden's top medical adviser Anthony Fauci said that India's contribution to global scientific knowledge is well known to all and the knowledge is already helping in COVID-19 prevention and care.
Speaking at the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) webinar on health cooperation, Fauci said, "Please accept my sincere empathy for the extremely difficult health crisis India is currently facing. As you know, the US was in a similar position several months ago before our vaccines became available."
Underlining the critical role of science in dealing with such a crisis, he said that the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has a long history of collaboration with its counterpart agencies in the Indian government. "On the longstanding India-US vaccine action programme, we continue to work with India on research related to SARS-COV-2 vaccines. We are also eager to involve Indian investigators and insights in global clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of various COVID-19 therapeutics," he further said.
Fauci also said that the US-India partnership between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and India's Department of Biotechnology as well as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have helped produce important scientific and public health discoveries in the past. "India's contribution to the global scientific knowledge are well known to all, with strong government support and a vibrant biopharma private sector, this knowledge is already yielding solutions to COVID-19 prevention and care," he remarked.
The US top medical expert also stressed on international cooperation and collaboration essential to advance scientific discovery and manage global health threats and collaboration between public health sector and the government.
Meanwhile, the Indian Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, also highlighted the critical role of the India-US collaboration to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. "The India-US health collaboration is not new. Under the longstanding vaccine action programme between India and the US, we rolled up the Rota vaccines against the Rotavirus, which causes diarrhoea in children. Many Indian companies have also manufactured highly cost-effective HIV drugs for use in African countries, building cooperation between US organisations and the private sector," he said at the USISPF webinar.
The US envoy pointed out how India has shown the integrity of health supply chains and provided essential medicines to the US and other countries last year when the pandemic had surfaced. "This year, when the US supported India during the second wave, President Biden and all the top leaders recalled India's help, companies such as Gilead have been critical in supplying medical supplies to India," he added.
Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, also affirmed that COVID-19 has reinforced a strong conviction that collaboration is the key to success. "India and US have always shared a wonderful partnership in all areas of collaboration, whether its health or agriculture. I think the key point that connects us is we collectively take on challenges to deliver not just to our own countries but to the globe," she said.