‘It is a dire situation’: U.S. will help India deal with surging coronavirus cases, Fauci says

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Workers prepare to fill medical oxygen cylinders for hospital use on COVID-19 patients on the outskirts of Jabalpur, India on April 18, 2021. (Uma Shankar/AFP via Getty Images)

Workers prepare to fill medical oxygen cylinders for hospital use on COVID-19 patients on the outskirts of Jabalpur, India on April 18, 2021. (Uma Shankar/AFP via Getty Images)

Officials say the U.S. is trying to help India deal with its coronavirus surge, which is straining that country’s health care system amid a record number of infections.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration’s top medical adviser on the pandemic, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with its counterpart agency in India to provide technical support and assistance.

India set another global record of daily infections for a second straight day with 332,730 cases. Hospitals officials are using social media, pleading with the Indian government to replenish their oxygen supplies.

“It is a dire situation that we’re trying to help in any way we can,” Fauci said at the White House coronavirus briefing. “They have a situation there where there are variants that have arisen. We have not yet fully characterized the variants and the relationship between the ability of the vaccines to protect. But we’re assuming, clearly, that they need vaccines.”

White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients says the U.S. is “committed to sharing vaccine supply” and “as our confidence around our supply increases, we will explore those options.”

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