US civil rights leader urges Biden to give 60m Covid vaccine doses to India

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US civil rights leader Rev. Jesse L. Jackson. File photo

US civil rights leader Rev. Jesse L. Jackson is urging President Joe Biden to release 60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to India, which is experiencing one of the worst outbreaks of the pandemic in the world.

Rev. Jackson will be joined by a number of prominent Indian leaders in the national capital on Wednesday, to make a public appeal to Biden for more humanitarian aid, according to a community statement.

“The pandemic poses a threat to humanity, not to any one country. Our response must be as encompassing as the threat,” the US civil rights leader said in a statement.

He will urge Biden to give India 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, it said. Dr Bharat Barai, chairman, US India Friendship Council, urged the President to facilitate the supply of the ”much needed antiviral medications of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab to India immediately.”

In a statement, Dr Vijay Prabhakar, national chairman, American Association of Multiethnic Physicians, USA, called on Biden to invoke the Federal International Emergency Production Act which would enable the manufacturers of the vaccine in the US to increase their production capacity.

“We need to protect India first only then can America and the rest of the world be protected,” Dr Prabhakar said.

Thanking Biden for his international vaccination pledge by providing 80 million COVID-19 vaccines, he also pleaded to give at least 60 million of those to India.

In its most recent update, the Union Health Ministry placed the total number of COVID-19 cases in India at 2,52,28,996 and the death toll at 2,78,719. The ministry said there are 33,53,765 active cases, while 2,15,96,512 people have so far recovered from the infection.

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