The US has so far provided over $500 million in COVID-19 assistance to India, the White House said on Wednesday, adding it would soon make a determination on distribution of the 80 million vaccines to other countries. "To date, the United States has provided over $500 million in COVID relief to India, including contributions from the US federal and state governments, American companies and organizations and private citizens," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told members of the White House Foreign Press Group in a virtual press conference call.
The Biden administration, she said, is now working to extend that assistance to other South Asian countries that have been impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. "We've sent seven air shipments, including health supplies, oxygen, oxygen supplies, and 95 masks, rapid diagnostic tests and medicine," the White House said.
"In terms of the 80 million doses (of COVID-19 vaccines), we know there's a great deal of interest in this understandably 60 million of AstraZeneca and 20 million of three other approved vaccines. Right now, it is working through an interagency process," Psaki said in response to a question.
The interagency team including National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and those from the State Department are discussing to determine how the United States is going to distribute and share these vaccine doses.
"Certainly, the plight of everything the people of India had been through is obviously on our minds but there are also a range of countries and regions around the world that have been deeply impacted that are also in need. So, these are all factors. Hopefully we'll have more on this in the coming days," Psaki said.
Meanwhile, a key Congressional committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution that expressed solidarity with India during the COVID-19 crisis and urged the Biden administration to facilitate private, in-kind medical supply donations to India. The resolution "recognising the devastating impact of COVID 19 in India and expressing the sense of the House of Representatives with respect to COVID assistance to India," was passed with unanimous consent by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.