Mon, 28 Nov 2022

By Reena BhardwajWashington [US], November 21 (ANI): The partnership between India and the United States "has become more important than ever," U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said on Sunday, underscoring the close cooperation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic between the two democracies.

The top official of the Biden administration lauded India and US' commitment to lead the global effort to end the COVID-19 pandemic and also stressed how the partnership between India and US could take on any future pandemic.

"I'm grateful for this partnership that we have between the United States and India. I think it hasn't only been important in the past, but it will be even more important going forward. And it's these kinds of partnerships that allow us to pace down and take on any future pandemic that may come our way," Murthy asserted.

The top official was addressing an event held by India's envoy in the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu.

Citing the personal story of his father who hailed from a village in Tamil Nadu and faced financial hardships never gave up on helping others in the village. Murthy added that it was his grandfather and father who taught him about how one must selflessly lift those who may be the most vulnerable.

"Our countries share a number of common challenges. We share a fierce commitment to ensuring that we lift everyone up when it comes to access to health care or investments in prevention," Murthy further added.

Sandhu, while addressing senior members of the Biden administration, representatives from the US Administration and Congress and members of the Indian diaspora, stressed the effort and cooperation between the two to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ambassador further reflected on the shared values and principles, growing strategic convergence and President Biden and Prime Minister Modi's resolve to advance the health partnership. He also looked forward to what the United States and India will achieve together.

Aruna Miller, the Lieutenant Governor-Elect of the state of Maryland who was also present at the event, said besides her own election in 2022, there were over 30 Indian Americans that got elected to state legislatures, county elected offices as mayors and as judges and Indian Americans have also expanded their influence in US Congress.

Miller said the ties between India and the United States could not be stronger. "The United States and India both recognize their strengths and success lies in pluralism and democracy," she added.

The United States and India are working on COVID-19 response and pandemic preparedness, infrastructure, space, clean energy, and critical and emerging technologies.

Last month, India's vaccine manufacturing capacity came in for high praise during a White House press briefing, by Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator. While calling India a major exporter of vaccines in the world he termed India's vaccine manufacturing capacity as 'incredible.'Ashish Jha's comment came in response to a question asking him about his view on India's handling of the COVID crisis. Responding to the question, Jha said, "India because of its incredible manufacturing capacity, has been a major exporter of vaccines."(ANI)

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