India’s Unprecedented Crisis is a Global Issue
India is dying. The country is battling a devastating surge in COVID-19 infections, with the country setting global records for the number of new cases daily and nine consecutive days with over 300,000 new infections. To say India’s health system is crumbling would be an understatement. Haunting images of mass crematoriums burning through the night are going viral across social media — and this is just the start. Experts predict the country’s second wave won’t reach its peak until mid-May, when daily new infections are expected to reach nearly 400,000 with 15,000 daily deaths.
Now, India is running out of vaccines — despite being the world’s biggest producer of vaccines. Several states in India have run out of vaccine supplies, and the vaccine centers in Mumbai, the country’s largest city, have now been temporarily shut down. This heartbreaking crisis is a global health issue and an immediate national security risk to the United States. The unprecedented surge in India means there are now more cases of COVID-19 in the world today than at any other point since the pandemic began. It would take the emergence of only one vaccine-resistant strain of the virus to quickly reverse all the hard-fought progress America has made at home.
The United States Must Be a Global Leader in the Effort to Get India Vaccinated
This week, President Biden announced that the United States would ship its stockpile of millions of Astrazeneca doses overseas to help countries struggling to vaccinate their populations “as the doses become available.” However, it remains unclear when these doses will become available, and the administration has yet to decide where these vaccines will go. The committed vaccines must now be distributed as quickly as possible and allocated based on the greatest need.