America’s top civil rights leader Rev Jesse Jackson has urged the Joe Biden administration to allocate 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines to India, reported news agency PTI.
Jackson said he has taken up the issue with both Biden and vice president Kamala Harris.
He said the whole world today is praying for India and its people, exuding confidence that the country of Mahatma Gandhi will win the battle against this pandemic.
“The whole world today prays for India,” he said on Wednesday.
Jackson was speaking at a conference, which was also addressed by several Indian-American community leaders. In his remarks, he called for raising more funds for the people of India and other countries being impacted by Covid-19.
“We should ask for more vaccination for the world. We need respirators, medicines and vaccines right now,” he said.
Eminent Indian-American community leader Dr Bharat Barai thanked Rev Jackson for his initiative. “Vaccination is the right thing to do and is the most important thing to do. This will not only save lives but also prevent the economy from collapsing,” he said.
Sunil Singh, chairman of the National Council of Asian Indian Associations, said India is in dire need of vaccines now. “We need vaccines now or never. India handled the first Covid attack last year very well. It has helped 80 countries across the world,” he said.
“Now India is in need, and the entire world has come forward to help India. We need more vaccines, and we need them now. Please help us now,” he said, adding that the community organizations in the Washington DC area have sent 130 oxygen concentrators.
Entrepreneur Ravi Pulli, the founder of US-India Solidarity Council, urged the Biden administration to provide more help to India as he appreciated the American support so far.
The statements came on the day the White House stated it has so far provided over $500 million in Covid-19 assistance to India, adding it would soon make a determination on distribution of the 80 million vaccines to other countries.
“To date, the United States has provided over $500 million in Covid relief to India, including contributions from the US federal and state governments, American companies and organizations and private citizens,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was quoted as saying.
With inputs from agencies.
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