Pressured by the international opinion, US President Joe Biden said in a tweet on Sunday that, “Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need.” CNBC reported that 318 Philips oxygen concentrators loaded at JFK Airport are on their way to Delhi. The US hyped it as if it was part of another “Marshall Plan.” However, it should be noted that it was loaded by Air India. More importantly, what India needs is much more than 300 oxygen generators. It needs at least 30,000, or maybe even 300,000.
Americans are particularly adept at expressing emotions. It is bizarre how belated and reluctant aid actions can be spoken about with excitement, as if they are providing timely help.
The US has been hoarding tens of millions of doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. This is the one that was believed to have a low probability of causing blood clots, even deaths. Washington dares not approve the use of this vaccine, and these days discussions are going on in Washington about whether or not it should be sent to India as emergency humanitarian aid. The US is probably ready to launch a publicity campaign for its “precious” aid to India. If this vaccine whose jab was halted by some European countries is sent to India one day, it will be made into another touching story about Washington’s great compassion.
Still remember at the initial stage of the outbreak, the US just paid lip service and put little action into practice to assist China? Washington has just repeated the same manner toward New Delhi this time. Of course, we shouldn’t underestimate this country. The US’ narratives to aid India this time has been the loudest since the outbreak of the pandemic. We hope Washington can put more actions into practice to mark a true turning point.
For over a year, the US has contributed little to the fight against this global pandemic. At present, with vaccines, the epidemic seems to have eased in the US. We hope humanitarianism will truly be activated in Washington, overwhelming all other calculations being made there.
The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times.