Shockingly, there isn’t any response from the US — the stronger, richer member of the “strategic partnership” (I can’t recall the longer, hyperbolic title proper now). All we have now heard to this point are phrases, typically vapid and typically callous, or a robotic recounting of previous generosity, a few of which truly got here from Donald Trump.
However no supply of assist has come so removed from President Joe Biden on what’s desperately wanted proper now – vaccines and different medical provides.
It doesn’t really feel like “America is again”. Trump, for all his ostentatious flaws, despatched 200 ventilators to India as a gesture of friendship when the US was within the throes of the pandemic. And India relaxed controls over hydroxychloroquine as a result of Trump thought it was the magic potion. It appeared individuals have been speaking and other people have been listening.
However Biden’s White House appears unable to understand the politics of the second. Quad and local weather summits matter little and sound like distant thunder within the face of India’s determined public well being disaster — and no serving to hand from its latest greatest good friend. But.
The US authorities presently sits on a stockpile of greater than 100 million vaccine doses and counting. Of those, round 40 million are
, that are unlikely for use anytime quickly as a result of the FDA hasn’t granted approval.
Most American well being specialists imagine the AstraZeneca vaccine gained’t be deployed and they’re pleading with Biden to launch the inventory to India and different nations.
Export or Donate Spare Vaccines, say Specialists
Members of the US Congress have additionally requested Biden to open the storeroom. However he has refused to export or donate spare vaccines. “We don’t have sufficient to be assured to ship it overseas now. However I anticipate we’re going to have the ability to try this,” was his reply this week. Is he afraid the Republicans will assault him? I wager they gained’t if there’s any reality to “bipartisan” assist for India. It’s not like Biden is sending vaccines to Russia.
If the European Union and, most significantly India, which donated or offered 66 million vaccine doses to 95 nations, can share, why can’t the US? Now India herself is in disaster, admittedly of her personal making. The BJP authorities’s horrendous missteps and decided disregard for fundamental precautions can be judged, even by the polarised lots.
However proper now, Indians are struggling and the Biden administration’s non-response is affecting individuals, not politicians. Christopher Clary, a professor and South Asia skilled, was alarmed sufficient to portend the arrival of one other “USS Enterprise second” with India. I’m not there but, besides to notice that if sending the seventh Fleet was an intervention to scare India, the dearth of 1 to salve and save lives is extra appalling. This USS Enterprise prepare of thought is already racing via many Indian minds. It could actually develop into a runaway prepare within the age of social media, particularly when the Russians have already fired the primary salvo.
Russia’s Serving to Hand
Vladimir Putin provided to ship oxygen and a daily provide of Remdesivir injections. How quickly earlier than the Hindutva-forged angry-wallahs activate America and the narrative shifts from Uncle Sam to Uncle Putin being the actual good friend in want?
Political officers within the State Division will keep in mind the 1998 nuclear checks and Invoice Clinton’s wrath when nothing appeared too petty to dam or deny. Public anger in India was intense.
(The author is a Washington-based journalist)