Dr Anthony Fauci has said rich countries have failed to stop the “terrible and tragic situation” in India by focusing on themselves during Covid.
Speaking to The Guardian, the White House chief medical adviser said it was for rich countries to aid India and others who are unable to find enough Covid vaccines.
“The only way that you’re going to adequately respond to a global pandemic is by having a global response, and a global response means equity throughout the world,” said Dr Fauci, “and that’s something that, unfortunately, has not been accomplished.”
Referring to “countries that are relatively rich”, the chief medical adviser said many countries were already aware of what needed to be done to fight Covid, but that it was failing.
It includes the Covaxx initiative run by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which is trying to secure Covid vaccines and treatments for less wealthy countries – relying on donations from richer countries.
“We have to do even more than that, we have to make vaccines available to those countries that don’t have the capability to do it themselves,” said Dr Fauci.
“The United States has really revved up their activity in helping out India as well as the Covaxx at WHO,” he continued, “We’re sending oxygen, remdesivir, personal protective equipment, a variety of other medications and soon we’ll be sending vaccine[s] to help out.”
Dr Fauci’s remarks came as India recorded a single-day record of 3,293 Covid fatalities on Tuesday, with the country’s death toll at 200,000 and rising, according to figures from the Associated Press.
Infections are also breaking records, with 362,757 cases recorded for Wednesday – the worst single-day total anywhere in the world.
Despite the remarks by the White House chief medical adviser, both the US and the UK have faced criticism for refusing to waive patent rights for Covid vaccines and treatments.
India, facing a crisis in recent weeks, was a signatory to a proposal to the WHO in October for waiving the intellectual property for Covid vaccines, as CNBC reported, allowing other countries to produce supplies domestically.