The Biden administration’s top medical adviser on the pandemic says the U.S. is actively looking at ways to boost aid to India as it grapples with surging coronavirus cases.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a television interview that several measures are being considered, including sending over oxygen supplies, coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) tests, drug treatments and personal protective equipment.
The outbreak in India adds to the pressure on President Joe Biden to provide vaccines to other countries. Biden has said the U.S. won’t begin doing so until it has enough supplies at home.
Fauci said Sunday that the U.S. would review how to help increase India’s vaccine supply, such as by sending them doses or helping them “to essentially make vaccines themselves.”
He said, quote: “Bottom line, it’s a terrible situation that’s going on in India and other lower middle-income countries, and there is more we can do.”
For the fourth straight day, India on Sunday set a global daily record of new coronavirus infections, spurred by an insidious new variant that emerged here. The surge has undermined the government’s premature claims of victory over the pandemic.
The 349,691 confirmed infections over the past day brought India’s total to more than 16.9 million cases, behind only the United States. The Health Ministry reported another 2,767 deaths in the past 24 hours, pushing India’s fatalities to 192,311.
Experts say this toll could be a huge undercount, as suspected cases are not included, and many Covid-19 deaths are being attributed to underlying conditions.
The unfolding crisis is most visceral in India’s overwhelmed graveyards and crematoriums, and in heartbreaking images of gasping patients dying on their way to hospitals due to lack of oxygen.