Published: 10th May 2021
As India struggles with a scary second wave of the pandemic, US support outpours
Biden spoke at length with Modi last month and conveyed solidarity with India in its fight against the viral disease
Less than a fortnight after President Joe Biden in his conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged his country's steadfast support for the people of India, America has responded with unprecedented financial assistance worth nearly USD half a billion. Biden spoke at length with Modi last month and conveyed solidarity with India in its fight against the viral disease.
He assured the prime minister that the US and India will work closely together in the fight against COVID-19. "Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need," Biden had said in a tweet. Reflecting overwhelming support for a "natural ally", the entire country not only the administration but also the corporate sector which created a global task force, as well as Americans and Indian-Americans have opened their coffers for India. This half a billion dollars includes USD 100 million pledged by the Biden administration, USD 70 million by pharma major Pfizer and 450,000 Remdesivir doses, the governmental purchase price of each of which in the US is USD 390.
Thousands of oxygen concentrators and planeloads of life-saving drugs and health care equipment are flying off the United States for India almost every day. Several companies like Boeing and Mastercard have announced financial assistance worth USD 10 million each, Google has pledged USD 18 million, which the Global Task Force that comprises CEOs of top American companies have already pledged USD 30 million worth of life-saving equipment. Describing it as a 'Berlin Life Moment', Mukesh Aghi of US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF), told PTI he expects the assistance to touch almost USD 1 billion by the end of the month.
Nisha Desai Biswal, president of US India Business Council (USIBC) said, "The outpouring of support from the United States over the past two weeks was a spontaneous mass mobilisation of support for the Indian people from across the American government, the business community and diaspora community and the American people."
"It is unprecedented, and it reflects both the deep bonds between our two countries and the gratitude that Americans feel for the role India played in supporting the United States when we were experiencing our COVID surge last year," she said.
ent and public health measures, he said.