Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and CEOs from over 40 companies announced the Global Task Force on Pandemic Response: Mobilizing for India, a new U.S. public-private partnership to provide India with critical medical supplies, vaccines, oxygen and other life-saving assistance amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases. The partnership is supported by the Chamber’s U.S.-India Business Council, the Business Roundtable and the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum.
The announcement came as part of a U.S. Chamber of Commerce-hosted meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell. Business leaders underscored the depth and breadth of the crisis, in economic as well as humanitarian terms, while Secretary Blinken provided a readout of the recent call between President Biden and Prime Minister Modi. During that call, which came just hours before the meeting, President Biden pledged to distribute 60 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine abroad – a welcome development following Chamber advocacy on the issue late last week.
“What we are witnessing in India is a stark reminder that while the United States has turned a corner in our efforts to combat the pandemic, our global partners are facing a staggering health crisis that requires a substantial public-private response,” said Suzanne Clark, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “This global crisis requires a global response, and the American business community could not be better positioned, or more determined, to help lead the way.”
Many of the participating companies have already pledged to help India tackle the surging pandemic by providing financial assistance, logistics and transportation support, and key medical supplies including oxygen generators and concentrators. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is working with its members to coordinate the outpouring of support from U.S. companies across the country, and provide resources and information for businesses looking to play a larger role.
As part of these efforts, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has developed Resources for India’s COVID-19 Crisis, including a portal through which American companies can offer in-kind donations. The U.S. Chamber and Chamber Foundation are working closely with both the U.S. and Indian governments to facilitate the donation and distribution of critical goods and services.
“We understand the importance of public-private partnerships to address global problems,” said Clark. “The steps we take together can help the world’s second largest country and provide a playbook to combat the virus until safe and effective vaccines are more widely and globally available.”