American civil rights activist Rev Jesse Jackson Sr and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi on Wednesday urged President Joe Biden to allocate at least 60 million vaccine doses to India out of the 80 million announced earlier by the US President.
With India having the second highest population in the world, Rev Jackson fears the variant found in India could spread to the rest of the world. "Not only are they (India) our neighbor in democracy and ally, the disease is airborne. We help ourselves and the world when we help to ameliorate the virus," Mr Jackson said at a conference.
"COVID-19 knows no national boundaries. It does not discriminate by race, religion or ideology," he further stated.
Alarmed at the 222,000 confirmed deaths in India and a second wave of the virus sweeping rural India, Rev. Jackson asserted the dire situation and there was an immediate need for vaccines in India.
"India needs respirators and oxygen now. The nation has already surpassed 100,000,000 vaccine doses. However, as this outbreak spreads, it is imperative for President Biden and the United States to step up even more to prevent the continued loss of life," Jackson said in his concluding remarks.
Indian-American Congressman, Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, who had earlier called on President Joe Biden to release millions of AstraZeneca vaccine doses to hardest-hit countries like India, once again reached out to the White House to roll out vaccines for the people of India and impacted communities around the world.
Krishnamoorthi, a strong Indian American voice, who is also a member of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, assured help to India.
"Help is on the way. And we are going to do everything we can. I'm a member of the special select committee on COVID in Congress. And so this is an area that I deeply care about. And so I'm going to be pushing very hard. Those who are ill I'm thinking about you. We are all praying for you. My own family was touched. Now we are going to try and we're going to try to help you in a fundamental way," he told ANI.