Coronavirus vaccine: US, India working jointly on Covid vaccine: Pompeo | India News
Talking to journalists in a tele-conference, Pompeo told TOI, “we (US and India) continue to talk about the bigger issues, free and open Indo-Pacific, challenge of China and trade.”
Indicating that India and the US were cooperating beyond Covid, he said, significantly, “We’re paying attention to supply chains. We want to mesh the supply chains that both countries have access to in areas that are important for our national security.”
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There is a growing interest in reducing dependence on China from the US, Japan and India. Japan has committed over $2 billion to diversify from China.
Denying that the US was “scapegoating” the WHO, he defended Trump’s decision to halt funding to the global health organisation, saying, “we’re demanding that institutions that have missions are doing what they should be. WHO has not lived up to the values it was set up for.”
Pompeo said that in his conversations with his counterparts around the world, there was a general agreement that there were serious shortcomings in World Health Organisation (WHO), both in their regulatory and humanitarian assistance functions.
“We need data and we need facts,” Pompeo said, about holding China and WHO responsible for the lack information about the origin of the virus and details about China’s handling of it.
In the days before China admitted to the scale of the epidemic, Pompeo said there was a lot of travel from Wuhan to different parts of the world, many on hopping flights. This took the virus to the rest of the world. Both Iran and Italy were early destinations of the virus which travelled from China.
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Answering questions on changed visa requirements after the pandemic was over, Pompeo indicated that some changes could be incorporated. “Right now we’re focused on fighting the epidemic. We want to go back to being an open world again. But we also have to secure the health and lives of our people. We’re still thinking our way through how we’re going to open up our countries for travel.” There are signs that countries might insist on Covid tests and health certificates after international travel is reopened.
Is the US ceding space to China, in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic? Pompeo said, “US and other democracies of the world will come out of this in a way that is better than nations that rely on authoritarian power. It is democracies where the people actually provide solutions. America will be at the front of that.”