Kamala Harris, the vice president of the United States who holds her ancestral roots in India, has stated that the welfare of India is a very critical issue for the United States and offered her condolences terming the situation in India as nothing but heartbreaking.

In her pre-recorded message played at a diaspora event hosted by the State Department's Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) on Friday, Kamala Harris lamented over the deteriorating Covidd-19 situation in India. "Generations of my family come from India. My mother (Shyamala Gopalan) was born and raised in India. And I have family members who live in India today. The welfare of India is critically important to the US," Harris said in her address to the diaspora.

"The surge of Covid-19 infections and deaths in India is nothing short of heartbreaking. To those of you who have lost loved ones, I send my deepest condolences. As soon as the dire nature of the situation became apparent, our administration took action. On Monday, April 26, President Joe Biden spoke with the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) to offer our support. By Friday, April 30, US military members and civilians were delivering relief on the ground. Already, we have delivered refillable oxygen cylinders, with more to come. We have delivered oxygen concentrators, with more to come. We have delivered N95 masks, and have more ready to send. We have delivered doses of Remdesivir to treat Covid patients. At the beginning of the pandemic, when our hospital beds were stretched, India sent assistance. And today, we are determined to help India in its hour of need. We do this as friends of India, as members of the Asian Quad, and as part of the global community. I believe that if we continue to work together, across nations and sectors, we will all get through this." she said.

In her address, she also acknowledged diaspora groups like Indiaspora and the American India Foundation that "have built bridges between the US and India". "And this past year, you have provided vital contributions to Covid-19 relief efforts."

Devastating second wave

Harris' remarks come as India is battling the devastating second wave of the pandemic that have triggered record number of new Covid-19 cases and deaths, leading to a shortage in oxygen supplies across the country, including in the national capital of New Delhi.

On Sunday, India reported 4,03,738 new cases, which took the overall tally to 2,22,96,414, the second highest in the world after the US. Meanwhile, the country's death toll, currently the third largest after the us and Brazil, increased to 2,42,362.

As the second wave of coronavirus has taken India by storm with a record of over 3 lakhs in the last 20 days, the issues of shortage of oxygen, beds, ambulances and vaccines have made India's struggle with the Covid-19 further grim.

Kamala Harris
Kamala HarrisReuters

Notwithstanding the recent sore moment when the US had delayed the raw materials urgently required to produce the vaccination, the US vice president, in her statement on April 26, vowed to extend US support to India in its fight against the second wave of the Covid.

"The U.S. is working closely with the Indian government to rapidly deploy additional support and supplies during an alarming COVID-19 outbreak. As we provide assistance, we pray for the people of India—including its courageous healthcare workers," she wrote on her Twitter handle.

Again on May 9, on Mother's day, she recalled her mother and mentioned how her mother was raised in India, and she still has family members who live in India currently.

Currently, the US is sending more than $100 million in assistance to India to tackle the situation. 

(With inputs from IANS)