Washington, May 15 (PTI) The United States is working with India on developing a vaccine for COVID-19, President Donald Trump said on Friday and recognised Indian-Americans as “great” scientists and researchers, who are contributing in the development of coronavirus vaccine.
Addressing media, Trump said he is hopeful a COVID-19 vaccine would be available by the end of the year, and announced to appoint a former head of vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline to spearhead the effort as researchers around the world scramble to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus that has killed more than 300,000 people globally.
“I just got back a short while ago from India recently and we are working very much with India and we have a tremendous Indian population in the US and many of the people that you are talking about are working on the vaccine too. Great scientist and researchers,” he told reporters in the Rose Garden of the White House as he unveiled a massive effort to speed track the development of coronavirus vaccine before year end.
“Yes. We are working very closely also with India,” Trump said responding to a question.
He described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “very good friend” of him.
“India has been so great and as you know your Prime Minister has been a very good friend of mine,” Trump said and later on Twitter announced to donate ventilators to India.
“I am proud to announce that the United States will donate ventilators to our friends in India,” he tweeted.
“We stand with India” and Prime Minister Modi during this pandemic, he said.
“We’re also cooperating on vaccine development. Together we will beat the invisible enemy!” Trump said.
The White House did not immediately said as to the number of ventilators that the US is donating to India.
This is for the first time probably that a president has recognized the scientific and research talent of the Indian American community.
A large number of scientist are engaged in cutting edge research in various aspects of medical science including at the National Institute of Health, Universities, research institutes and bio pharma startups.
There are an estimated four million Indian Americans in the United States, of which about 2.5 million are potential voters in the 2020 presidential elections this November. As a presidential candidate, Trump was the first nominee to hold a separate election rally for Indian American in October 2016 in New Jersey.
Since then he has described himself as the best friend of India and Indian Americans at the White House. PTI LKJ PMS PMS