After facing a barrage of criticism for denying essential COVID supplies to India, the United States on Tuesday defended the Defense Production Act (DFA), a US policy under which the supplies were reportedly withheld.
Tim Manning, the White House COVID-19 Supply Coordinator, in a series of tweets explained how the US diverted its pending orders of vaccine filters to India's vaccine manufacturing effort.Defense Production Act does not mean an "export ban", said the White House official adding that it requires US companies to prioritize their government contracts ahead of other orders.
"To make vaccine here in the US we have used the DPA to ensure we have access to all needed supplies with many US companies. DPA in these cases just means U.S. companies must prioritize their government contracts ahead of other orders. It doesn't mean an export ban," Manning tweeted.
"Now here's what we did yesterday: we diverted our pending orders of vaccine filters to India's vaccine manufacturing effort. This will help India make more vaccine. And it's only one effort among many to help their COVID19 response (e.g. therapeutics, PPE, and oxygen)," he added.
This comes in the background of severe criticism Washington faced for stockpiling COVID-19 supplies in the US, including vaccines, even as countries like India and Brazil continue to face a shortage of medical essentials due to the latest wave of coronavirus pandemic.
Later on Sunday, the US announced that they will immediately send the raw material required for the manufacture of Covishield vaccine to India.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also spoke on the phone with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, expressing deep sympathy for the people of India following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.Meanwhile, Dr. Vivek Murthy US Surgeon General today said that the US has plans to share AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses with the world.
"US announces plan to share AstraZeneca #COVID19 vaccine doses with the world. 60 million doses to be shared as they become available. Global pandemics require global cooperation," Dr. Murthy tweeted. (ANI)