Biden promises India Covid support in call to Modi

PBC News: US President Joe Biden promised emergency assistance to Covid-ravaged India in a telephone call Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the two countries said.

Biden “pledged America’s steadfast support for the people of India who have been impacted by the recent surge in Covid-19 cases,” the White House said.

The United States “is providing a range of emergency assistance, including oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials and therapeutics,” Biden told Modi, according to a statement.

The United States announced emergency aid Sunday after rising criticism in India, an increasingly close partner of the United States, that Washington had a glut of vaccine doses and was not sharing.

Modi, according to an Indian statement, “conveyed his heartfelt appreciation for the offer of assistance.”

In one point not touched on by the White House, India said that Modi raised with Biden a call to ease intellectual property requirements on Covid vaccines.

Such a move would “ensure quick and affordable access to vaccines and medicines for developing countries,” the Indian statement said.

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