India’s all-weather ally France and its President Emmanuel Macron have again batted for New Delhi on the global map, simultaneously taking down American President Joe Biden, who has been exceptionally hypocritical and irresponsible when it has come to battling the coronavirus pandemic together.
During an address ahead of the G7 Summit, the French President highlighted and pointed towards several G7 countries including America for blocking vaccine production by curtailing the raw material supply chain.
“There have been export bans by several G7 member countries that blocked production in other countries and sometimes blocked production in middle-income countries, which is essential for production of vaccines for poorest countries. I’ll take just one example, India,” said Macron
The French leader further added, “India and in particular Serum Institute of India (SII), has been blocked by export restrictions on ingredients needed to produce vaccines from certain G7 economies. Restrictions must be lifted so India can produce more for itself and quickly supply Africans in particular, who are dependent on its production,”
There have been export bans by several G7 member countries that blocked production in other countries & sometimes blocked production in middle-income countries,which is essential for production of vaccines for poorest countries. I'll take just one example, India: French President pic.twitter.com/l0O2mA2FpA
— ANI (@ANI) June 11, 2021
As reported by TFI, when asked at a press briefing in April if President Joe Biden’s administration had decided on the requests made from India to lift the ban on the export of vaccine raw materials to India, State Department spokesperson Ned Price with a deadpan face had remarked, “We have a special responsibility to the American people.”
“It’s, of course, not only in our interest to see Americans vaccinated, it’s in the interests of the rest of the world to see Americans vaccinated,” he also added.
While Macron’s obvious target was America and Biden, he was also taking a dig at German Chancellor Angela Merkel for calling out India’s growing pharmacy sector.
As reported by TFI, Angela Merkel had recently lamented that ‘they (Germans) had allowed India to become the pharmacy of the world’.
“The truth is, we haven’t treated our pharmaceutical industry so well for many years…I am glad that we still have pharmaceutical production in Belgium, Holland, Germany,” Merkel had said, “We now have a situation with India where, in connection with the emergency situation of the pandemic, we are worried whether the pharmaceutical products will still come to us.”
Furthermore, Merkel cautioned, “Of course, we have only allowed India to become such a large pharmaceutical producer in the first place, also from the European side, in the expectation that this should then also be complied with. If that is not the case now, we will have to rethink.”
India is the biggest vaccine manufacturer in the world and unlike American vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna, the Indian vaccines viz, Covishield and Covaxin, if produced in large quantities can be used to help the poorer countries across the globe, owing to the cheaper price and normal storing conditions.
But the dearth of raw material supply from the USA has stopped India from undertaking its ‘Vaccine Maitri’ program after initial success. Macron calling out America on one of the biggest diplomatic platforms should be a facepalm moment for Biden and hopefully, it forces him to get his act together.