US to keep helping ‘important partner’ India in battling Covid-19

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy

Beware of fake news on Covid, says Indian American surgeon general Vivek Murthy.

As President Joe Biden himself remains ‘deeply engaged’ in efforts to help India battling a deadly surge of Covid-19, his Indian American surgeon general Vivek Murthy has advised Indians to be wary of fake news.

“The President is, of course, kept abreast of the Covid pandemic — how it’s impacting different regions in the world, including our important partners in India,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday.

“And he has been deeply engaged as we’ve made determinations about the type of relief and assistance that we can and should provide,” she said.

“We remain closely in touch and engaged, and we will continue to work through how we can provide assistance during this difficult time,” Psaki said when asked if US was planning more assistance to India in addition to $100 million already announced.

READ: Wadhwani Foundation offers $1 million Covid grants for Indian families (May 18, 2021)

“We’ve sent seven air shipments funded by the US Agency for International Development to India,” she said noting the seventh flight, carrying additional oxygen concentrators via commercial shipping center, arrived Monday.

“That obviously is critical for a number of the patients who are already battling Covid,” Psaki said. “So, we will continue to provide a range of assistance.”

“We will remain in touch about what the direct needs are on the ground, and hope that we can play a constructive role in reducing the numbers and bringing some relief to the people of India.”

Meanwhile,  describing misinformation as a virus itself, surgeon general Vivek Murthy has asked Indians and Indian Americans to watch out for misinformation in what they read, say or forward on social media platforms.

READ: US lawmakers urge Biden to increase Covid-19 assistance to India (April 30, 2021)

“Misinformation is a virus itself, and it harms people, and it sometimes compels them to take actions that puts put them and other people at risk,” he said in a virtual outreach to Indian-Americans.

“In a pandemic, when you’re responding, information is power and if you can get the right information to people, they can take steps to protect themselves,” Murthy said.

The government and the private sector can make all the vaccine and masks they want, but “they will be of no value if people don’t want to use them because of misinformation,” he added.

READ MORE:

$100 million worth US Covid relief aid starts arriving in India (April 29, 2021)

US pledges steadfast, ongoing support for Covid hit India (April 27, 2021)

Indian Americans concerned about travel to Covid hit India (April 26, 2021)

How pressure mounted on Biden administration to help India during coronavirus surge (April 25, 2021)

Vinod Khosla offers to help Indian hospitals with import of oxygen (April 24, 2021)

Covid tsunami hits India with record 332,000 daily cases (April 23, 2021)

Don’t let the ‘America First’ derail India-U.S. ties (April 24, 202)

US may curb Air India evacuation flights from July 22 (June 23, 2020)

Air India announces more US-India flights from June 11 (June 8, 2020)

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