COVID-19 surge in India leads to support from America, United Airlines for vaccine, emergency supplies
By Will Jones
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The world's worst COVID-19 outbreak is in India, where more than 17.5 million cases have been reported since the pandemic began.
Experts fear the real number of cases there could be up to 30 times higher.
Some hospitals have run out oxygen and supplies. The United States and other countries are sending aid, and United Airlines is now joining the effort to help.President Joe Biden pledge to provide a range of emergency assistance, including oxygen-related supplies and vaccine materials.
Chicago-based United Airlines is helping the relief efforts by flying in ventilators. The ventilators were donated by the US-India Chamber of Commerce DFW to the Indian Red Cross.
"We are trying to see how we can advise the physicians there. They are quite knowledgeable themselves, the physicians there, but they are overwhelmed currently with the number of patients they are not able to serve," said Dr. Suneela Harsoor, Indian American Medical Association of Illinois.
Dr. Harsoor said Chicagoans with ties to India are worried about their family and friends.
The daily COVID-19 cases case are over 300,000 for more than a week.
"Any COVID fire raging anywhere in the world, if it's not doused out, it could come back to burn us here in America," said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois.
Rep. Krishnamoorthi has been pushing the Biden administration to share America's supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine with India.
"We need to do more and we need to make sure that we realize it's not just the morally right thing to do or something that we should do out of love and compassion or sense of humanity. It's in our best interest," Rep. Krishnamoorthi said.
"Americans need to care, and they are caring, and we are really, really humbled with the overwhelming response of help that is coming from America and all around the world," Dr. Harsoor said.
*Thank you to AAPI for all that you have done and are doing for India COVID relief. We are grateful for the opportunity to work side by side with you in the Global Fight against COVID-19!*