US helping India to produce vaccine in global Covid fight

“The virus knows no boundaries. You can’t build a wall high enough to keep it out,” says Biden.

Even as President Joe Biden has made it “our first and top priority to have a vaccine available for every single American,” the US is helping countries like India to produce vaccine themselves in the global fight against the pandemic.

“From the beginning of my presidency, I’ve been very clear-eyed that we need to attack this virus globally, not just at home, because it’s in America’s self-interest to do so,” Biden told reporters at the White House Tuesday.

“The virus knows no boundaries.  You can’t build a wall high enough to keep it out,” he said. “There is no wall high enough or ocean wide enough to keep us safe from the Covid-19 in other countries.”

“We know that Covid-19 in other countries stifles economic growth, disrupts supply chains, risks instability and weakness of governments,” Biden said. “So just as the American economy is recovering, it’s in all of our interests to have the global economy begin to recover as well.”

READ: Covid-19 vaccination: What India can learn from the U.S. experience (July 13, 2021)

“In this fight against Covid-19, the United States is committed to be the arsenal of vaccines, just as we were the arsenal of democracy during World War Two,” he said.

“And we’re backing up that commitment.  We have contributed more than any other nation to COVAX — the collective global efforts delivering Covid-19 vaccines across the world.”

“We have supported manufacturing efforts abroad through our partnerships with Japan, India, Australia –- known as “the Quad.”

Noting that there’s a need for several billion vaccine doses around the world, Biden said the US has committed to over a half a billion doses.

“And we’re trying to provide for more and provide for the capacity of countries like India to be able to produce the vaccine themselves.  And we’re helping them do that.”

“Not just vaccines, the US was continuing to provide countries in need with more testing, protective equipment, and personnel to stem the surge of the virus,” Biden said.  “We’ve done it in India and elsewhere.”

The US, he said, “was not charging anybody anything.  And we’re trying to do as much as we possibly can.”

READ: India should enlist services of Indian American physicians in its fight against Covid-19 (May 30, 2021)

The US, Biden said, would purchase a groundbreaking 500 million doses of Pfizer and then donate them to nearly a hundred low- and middle-income countries who don’t have the vaccine.

Those doses will start to ship at the end of this month, he said. The US would also donate 80 million doses of its own vaccine to supply the world, which has already begun.

To date, the US has shipped over 110 million doses of US vaccines to 65 countries that are among the hardest hit in the world, Biden said.

“This is more than the donations of all 24 countries that have donated any vaccine to other countries, including China and Russia — all those nations combined,” he said citing the United Nations.

“In the race for the 21st century between democracies and autocracies, we need to prove that democracies can deliver,” Biden said.

“The democracies of the world are looking to America to lead again in two ways. First, to demonstrate we can control this virus at home. And second, to show we can help address it around the world,” he said.

“Vaccinate America and help vaccinate the world. That’s how we are about to beat this thing,” Biden added.

The US, which has so far reported 35.3 million Covid-19 cases with more than 600,000 deaths, on Monday finally reached Biden’s goal of having 70 per cent of eligible adults at least partly vaccinated.

India has reported 31,726,507 Covid cases so far with 425,195 deaths.

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