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Covid: US govt, MNCs get ready to help India, PMO keen to coordinate all effort, US wants to avoid centralization

After US President Joseph Biden's call with PM Narendra Modi this morning, US government and its industry discussed the humanitarian operation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a zoom call with 135 US CEOs, trade bodies and other stakeholders.

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The United States government and American companies are gung-ho to help India remedy the debilitation caused by the second Covid-19 spike for humanitarian reasons. The fear is also real that if not contained the much-feared India strain can spread across the world by the end of May, threatening many other countries and the global economy.

“America wants to show it has the money, equipment and, most importantly, the heart to come to India’s help during this unbelievable crisis. I have never seen such public-private coordination before – the might, brainpower and financial resources of the US government is now fully in motion and unleashed for India,” said Vijay Advani, chairman, India-US Business Council Global Board of Directors.

After US President Joseph Biden’s call with PM Narendra Modi this morning, US government and its industry discussed the humanitarian operation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a zoom call with 135 US CEOs, trade bodies and other stakeholders.

Vijay Advani, who was also on the call, said, “The US army and the US State Department are coordinating medication, aid and equipment – UPS and United / Delta (airlines) have already volunteered flights to take equipment to India, Amazon is coordinating ventilators distribution. The US government is fully in support.”

The Prime Minister’s Office is said to be keen to coordinate all efforts while the US wants to engage various institutions across the country, as it believes aid will be stuck in Delhi and not get to the states soon enough.

“Google, IBM, J.P. Morgan, FedEx, Walmart, Coke, J&J, Pfizer are all aware that the impact in India will impact the world – both on health and economic reasons,” he said.

The US is sending several military mobile hospitals for ICUs. Though the US bureaucracy took its time to get mobilized, America is shipping its stock of Astra Zeneca vaccines along with all raw material to make vaccines in India. Extra stock of oxygen equipment are being diverted from war-field hospitals to India, Advani said.

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Many firms have offered their empty offices in India to be used as vaccine centres. Google is helping India with tracking Covid, Lockheed Martin is sending helicopters and cargo flights to move equipment to small towns in India, he said.

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