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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Rich US companies who failed to save US pledge to help India

US giants formed a first of its kind country specific task force to help India in its COVID-19 fight. Why is there so much interest and will these US companies be able to ease the crisis who failed to help their country?

Top 40 US companies have created a task force to help India in battling COVID-19 crisis. This is a first of its kind country specific global task force. Not to mention, the companies see India as a huge market for their products. These companies have heavily invested in the country; a situation of complete lockdown for months will result in huge losses for them. Recently, Apple was force to shutdown four offices in India due to decline in sales amid COVID-19.

The ‘Global Task Force on Pandemic Response: Mobilizing for India’ comprising of US companies that will mobilize resources with the aim to fight the pandemic in India.

The question that is before us is whether US companies would be able to help India when US companies were not able to save their homeland from the worst attack of pandemic.

The United States’ 32,073,423 cumulative COVID-19 cases amount to nearly 22% of the nearly 147 million global cases, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

Meanwhile, virus-related deaths among Americans have increased to 572,192, representing roughly 18% of the more than 3.1 million global COVID-19 fatalities recorded to date.

Moreover, India is a difficult country to intervene and coordinate efforts. It comprises of 28 states with a grand total population of 1.35 billion people – almost half of which never went to school.

Nonetheless, the show of solidarity on part of US businesses, such as Apple and Google, needs to be praised which has pledged to provide India critical medical supplies, vaccines, oxygen and other life-saving assistance amid an unprecedented surge.

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The public-private partnership is being spearheaded by chambers of commerce of US and India. In Monday meeting, the task force committed to send 20,000 oxygen concentrators to India in the next few weeks.

US govt aid to India

Senior U.S. officials on Tuesday pledged sustained support for India in helping it deal with the world’s worst current surge of COVID-19 infections, warning the country is still at the “front end” of the crisis and overcoming it will take some time.

The White House’s National Security Council coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, Kurt Campbell, told a virtual event on the U.S. assistance that President Joe Biden had told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a phone call on Monday: “You let me know what you need and we will do it.”

Read more: China ready to help India tackle resurgence of COVID-19

Campbell said at the event, organized by the U.S.-India Business Council and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, that Washington was committed to helping the world’s second most populous country get to grips with the crisis.
“We all have to realize that this is not a challenge that is going to resolve (in) the next several days,” he said.

Tackling the crisis, he said, was important not just for the people of India but for the United States, given India’s essential role as global provider of vaccines.

India is now the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic as a second wave of infections has driven the death toll up to almost 200,000.

Read more: US to ramp up support for virus-hit India

On Tuesday, vital medical supplies began to reach the country of 1.35 billion people but hospitals starved of life-saving oxygen and beds still were turning away coronavirus patients.

The United States and other countries pledged urgent medical aid to try to contain the emergency in India.