MERCAZ USA Supports Virus Assistance to India

MERCAZ USA is a signatory on this letter, drafted by the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, urging The White House to provide support and relief to India as they face a potential third wave of Covid-19 infections.

MERCAZ USA is a member organization of the the Conference of Presidents.

June 21, 2021

Hon. Ron Klain
Hon. Jeff Zients
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Messrs Klain and Zients,

As you are aware, over the past two months India faced the incredible challenge of a second wave of COVID-19. Millions of people have been infected, and hundreds of thousands have died. Given the size of India and the fragility of its medical system, the ramifications of a third, more infectious wave of COVID-19 could be calamitous for its population. Additionally, the national and international mobility of India’s citizens necessitate a global imperative to ensure that a future third wave is avoided at all costs.

As India emerges from this latest wave, there is a crucial window of time available. It is imperative that India be given the opportunity to vaccinate as much of its population as possible in order to avoid future and further catastrophe. The United States currently has a stockpile of Astra Zeneca vaccines that it is likely not going to be distributing to our own population, and we understand the United States will be working to purchase up to 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to distribute to countries in need.

We urge the Administration to rapidly allocate an additional and greatly increased share of doses of COVID-19 vaccine to India. It is essential that the world’s largest democracy be provided the opportunity to stave off another disaster. The Indian government is ramping up its vaccine capacity and should be at the point of self-sufficiency this autumn, however they require the essential aid of the United States in order to bridge the time in the interim. Once India has reached manufacturing capacity, it will be prepared to share meaningful volumes of excess vaccine doses with countries that are in need at that point.

The Indian government came to the aid of the United States in its time of need during the first wave of Spring 2020 and has been a stalwart ally and friend. So too, the four million strong Indian expatriate community plays an integral role through United States society. We believe that an enhanced US allocation of valuable COVID-19 vaccines to India would be an enormous boon to a democracy that has been ravaged by disease and is in danger of facing another wave.

Respectfully submitted,

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

American Friends of Likud
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
B’nai B’rith International
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America
Jewish Community Center Association
Jewish Federations of North America
Jewish Labor Committee
Jewish Women International
Mercaz USA
National Council of Young Israel
Rabbinical Assembly
Rabbinical Council of America
Union for Reform Judaism
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism
Women of Reform Judaism
World ORT
Zionist Organization of America

CC: Secretary of State Antony Blinken