Ned Price, Spokesman, US Department of State Photograph:( AFP )
On the COVID-19 vaccine, Price said, "Our priority is ensuring the distribution of a safe and effective vaccine to millions of Americans to all Americans who can take advantage of it. But we also know that we need to continue to demonstrate that leadership"
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price has said that United States is "very closely" tracking the course of the COVID-19 outbreak in India.
"There are protocols in place, requiring testing for international travel. What is true is that we are tracking the course of the COVID outbreak in India very closely as I mentioned before, Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Jaishankar did discuss it yesterday," Price said in a statement on Tuesday.
"We are committed to doing what we can both at the present. And going forward, to see to it that this virus is brought under control and I spoke again of our engagement with the who are funding to COVAX, the Quad arrangement that of course implicates. What we're seeing in India," he added.
On the COVID-19 vaccine, Price said, "Our priority is ensuring the distribution of a safe and effective vaccine to millions of Americans to all Americans who can take advantage of it. But we also know that we need to continue to demonstrate that leadership."
"When it comes to countries beyond our borders and that's precisely what we've done, as I mentioned before, we've re-engaged. The who we've committed USD 2 billion to Kovacs another USD 2 billion over time, we've spoken to our partnership with Canada and Mexico," he added.
Yesterday, The Biden administration has conveyed to New Delhi that it understands India's pharmaceutical requirements and promised to give the matter due consideration, observing that the current difficulty in the export of critical raw materials needed to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines is mainly due to an Act that forces American companies to prioritise domestic consumption.
President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump had invoked the war-time Defence Production Act (DPA) that leaves US companies with no option but to give priority to the production of COVID-19 vaccines and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for domestic production to combat the deadly pandemic in America, the worst-hit nation.
Since the US has ramped up the production of COVID-19 vaccines mostly by Pfizer and Moderna to meet the goal of vaccinating its entire population by July 4, the suppliers of its raw material, which is in high demand globally and sought after by major Indian manufacturers, are being forced to provide it only for domestic manufacturers.
(With inputs from agencies)