Biden Says He Intends to Aid India With Vaccines to Combat Surge
U.S. President Joe Biden takes off his sunglasses before speaking on the North Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg)

Biden Says He Intends to Aid India With Vaccines to Combat Surge

President Joe Biden said he intends to send vaccines from the U.S. to India as the country battles the worst coronavirus surge in the world, but did not specify timing for a decision or shipments.

Biden said Tuesday that in a call with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he discussed “when we’ll be able to send actual vaccines to India, which would be my intention to do.”

In the meantime, the U.S. is providing aid including the therapeutic drug remdisivir and machinery for vaccine manufacturing, Biden said.

Biden Says He Intends to Aid India With Vaccines to Combat Surge

The Biden administration announced Monday that it plans to send about 60 million doses of AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine abroad after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration review of its manufacturing. The vaccine isn’t yet authorized for use in the U.S., but it’s been cleared in many other countries and Biden has been under pressure to release the federal government’s stockpile for export.

India’s health system is reeling under a resurgence of the pandemic, with more than 320,000 new infections per day and sharply escalating hospitalizations and deaths. Biden and Modi spoke about U.S. aid to the country on Monday.

European countries are also pledging help as new cases in the South Asian country smash world records. Hospitals and crematoriums are cracking under pressure, while Indians are begging on social media for everything from oxygen cylinders to drugs. Almost 3,000 people are dying every day, with experts saying that figure likely underplays the real toll.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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