WASHINGTON: Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said he is doing everything to get the Biden administration provide excess vaccines not used in the United States to India, amid the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
He was speaking during a webinar organised by the Howard University here along with the Gautam Buddha University and Association of Indian Universities.
"I have been doing everything I can to get the Biden administration provide the excess vaccines that we are not using in the United States for the use of India.
"I made a call on them to share portions of our 80 million excess vaccine doses.
They responded favourably, but I am now proposing something even bigger," Rajakrishnamoorthi said in his brief address on Strategies on Dealing with COVID-19 especially access of Vaccines Supply'.
The Congressman had also recently introduced the Nullifying Opportunities for Variants to Infect and Decimate (NOVID) Act.
"It would stand up as a US program to vaccinate 60 per cent of the world's population. It is very important that we make sure that 60 per cent or that we reach herd immunity in India and other countries," he said.
"Not only because it is the right thing to do out of compassion and morality, but it is the smart thing to do. If we do not do that, variants from all other countries will come back to harm everyone in the United States. So we must stand up this program and help everybody everywhere. Because COVID-19 anywhere is a threat to everyone everywhere," he asserted.
The NOVID Act is an expansive coronavirus prevention program that will ensure Americans are not subject to another deadly surge of COVID-19 domestically, according to a media release.
Under the NOVID Act, the US would establish the USD 19 billion Pandemic Preparedness and Response Program (PanPReP) through the State Department, modelled on PEPFAR, to oversee and coordinate the US global strategy for the COVID-19 pandemic Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Congressman refuted reports that the webinar was hosted by the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM).
"The Congressman was invited to the event by Howard University which hosted it and had no contact with the SJM or aware of their involvement," Will Baldwin, communications director and senior advisor to the Congressman, told PTI.