Fauci says rich countries have the 'moral responsibility' to help other nations tackle COVID

Fauci says rich countries have the 'moral responsibility' to help other nations tackle COVID
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Anthony Fauci
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in the White House in January 2021. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said rich countries have a "moral responsibility" to help low and middle-income nations.

  • Fauci highlighted the COVID crisis in India and said other nations should help them with vaccines.

  • India is the new epicenter of the pandemic, with soaring infection rates and a mounting death toll.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Biden's chief medical advisor, says that rich countries like the US "have a moral responsibility" to help other nations with COVID - including assisting with producing and distributing vaccines.

"In the ongoing crisis, the rich countries have a moral responsibility to assist those countries that don't have the capability of doing that, particularly the low and middle-income countries," Fauci said, speaking to news outlet ANI on the topic of securing vaccines in India.

And vaccines aren't the only way developed nations can extend a helping hand.

"There was the immediate issue that needs to be addressed as taking care of the people that are already infected. Getting better supplies of oxygen, oxygen cylinders, oxygen generators, PPEs, therapies like Remdesivir and things like that, the things that the US has helped with," Fauci said.

"But then probably in the intermediate and long run, you've got to figure out a way how to get as many vaccinations administered to the people of India as possible," he added.

India is now the global epicenter of the COVID crisis, as the World Health Organization's chief scientist said this week that a more dangerous COVID variant was driving its surging numbers and mounting death toll.

As of press time, India recorded over 23.7 million cases and 258,000 deaths. However, the actual death toll could be five to 10 times higher, as Reuters reported COVID deaths going under-reported and unrecorded.

Fauci's statement to ANI followed his urging of the US and other countries to step up and offer aid to India earlier this week, in the form of vaccine and oxygen supplies. He has also been vocal about what needs to be done in India to help curb the spread of COVID, including imposing a nationwide lockdown - which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has refused to do.

This is not the first time that Fauci has made a statement on the responsibility that developed countries have during the COVID crisis. In a May 5 interview with Politico he said the US had a "moral obligation" to share its COVID vaccines.

Fauci told Politico that he would back the waiving of vaccine patents so that other countries can make their versions of the COVID jabs, but acknowledged then that it would not be a silver bullet for the global COVID crisis.

Read the original article on Business Insider