Ground staff unloads supplies of coronavirus disease assistance (COVID-19) from the United States at the cargo terminal at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India, April 30, 2021.
Prakash Singh | Reuters
WASHINGTON – White House Chief of Staff Ron Klein said Sunday that the Biden administration is seeking to spread the coronavirus vaccine in India and elsewhere after millions of Americans have received their doses.
In recent weeks, India has seen a staggering rise in new coronavirus infections. Over the weekend, India reported 400,000 daily cases, for a total of 1
The variant has since been identified in other countries, including the United States.
On Friday, the White House announced it would restrict travel from India as the country works to counter the wave of Covid-19 infections.
“We are in a hurry to help India,” Klein said in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Klein said the United States has sent therapeutic devices, rapid diagnostic kits, fans and protective equipment to the world’s largest democracy, as well as raw materials important for vaccine production.
“Our US trade representative, Catherine Ty, will go to the WTO next week to start talks on how we can get this vaccine more widespread, more licensed, more widely shared,” he said when asked if the administration of Biden will ease the patent protection of the coronavirus vaccine.
Klein added that he expects the White House to have more to say on the issue in the coming days.
Earlier this month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed lifting the patent protection of the coronavirus vaccine with Biden, according to a reading of the invitation. Relaxation will give governments faster and more accessible access to rescue doses.
Last week, the Biden administration announced that it would immediately provide the raw materials needed to produce a coronavirus vaccine in India. The US response came after Britain, France and Germany pledged aid to India, the world’s largest democracy. In recent days, rich nations have come under fire for accumulating the raw materials needed for the shootings.