Chicago, Il – With 222,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, rivers filling up with bodies for lack of space in crematoriums in India, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. is held a press conference at 3 p.m. (EST) (2 p.m. CST), Wednesday, May 19th, in Washington, D.C. to ask President Biden to give India 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.
Alarmed at the 222,000 confirmed deaths in India and a second wave of the virus sweeping throughout rural India, Rev. Jackson, who will be joined by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Reps. Danny K. Davis (D-7th), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and a number of prominent Indian leaders, including Dr. Vijay Prabhakar, national chairman, American Association of Multi Ethnic Physicians, USA, is holding the press conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW, in Washington, D.C., in the Thornton Room, 11th Floor, to appeal to President Biden for more humanitarian aid.
Yesterday, Tuesday, May 17th, India’s Health Ministry reported there were 4,329 COVID-19 deaths and so far 25 million cases.
With India the second highest population in the world, Rev. Jackson fears their infections could spread to the rest of the world. “COVID-19 knows no national boundaries. It does not discriminate by race, religion or ideology,” he stated.
‘While we’re caught up with the crisis with Israel and Palestine in search of a real solution and the trial of Rep. Mark Gaetz and the sex-trafficking case, the COVID battle is raging in India he second largest population in the world,” said Rev. Jackson.
With the virus raging across India, Rev. Jackson warned, “The pandemic poses a threat to humanity, not to any one country. Our response must be as encompassing as the threat.”
Dr. Vijay Prabhakar, national chairman, American Association of Multi Ethnic Physicians, USA, thanked President Biden for his international vaccination pledge by providing 80 million COVID-19 vaccines, but he also pleaded to Biden to give at least 60 million of those to India.
Dr. Prabhakar called on Biden to invoke the Federal International Emergency Production Act which would enable the manufacturers of the vaccine in the USA 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.
Also thanking President Biden for coming to the aid of India is Dr. Bharat Barai, chairman, U.S. India Friendship Council, Munster, Indiana, who urged the President to facilitate the supply of the “much needed antiviral medications of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab to India immediately.”
Neil Khot, executive vice president, Indian American Business Coalition, USA, appealed to President Biden to facilitate the purchase of vaccines and antiviral medications by the State Governments of India to flatten the COVID pandemic in India.
When President Biden took office, he vowed to restore the stature of the U.S. as a leader in public health and pledged $4 billion to an international vaccine effort. He also vowed to provide financial support to help Biological E, a vaccine manufactured in India, produce at least one billion doses of coronavirus vaccines by the end of 2022.