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Governor Bryan Asks President Biden How USVI Can Assist U.S. Aid Efforts To India

CHRISTIANSTED — Governor Albert Bryan sent a letter to President Biden pledging the territory’s assistance in the U.S. Government’s efforts to help the people of India, who are suffering through an extreme surge of the COVID-19 virus that has resulted in more than 20 million cases and has inundated the Indian health care system and created a severe shortage of oxygen and other critical supplies.

In the letter, Governor Bryan underscored the Indian sub-continent’s historical ties to the Caribbean and the local Indian community’s long-standing influence as a vital and essential element of the growth and development of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“It breaks my heart that hospitals have run out of beds and oxygen, and sick people are being turned away. The virus is spreading and mutating at an astronomical rate. Thank you for speaking to Prime Minster Narendra Modi and reassuring him that the United States with other countries will send 60 million AstraZeneca doses to India,” Governor Bryan wrote in his letter to President Biden.

A man mourns as he sits next to the burning pyre of a relative, who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during his cremation, at a crematorium in New Delhi, India May 5, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

“We are grateful for the other tangible support mechanisms on their way. Your coordinated response is appreciated across the world. Please let me know how the Virgin Islands can help,” the governor wrote.

While some people lauded the governor’s intentions based on the humanitarian crisis in India, others wondered why the chief executive couldn’t focus his attention on the pressing problems affecting his own territory.

“Please, we can’t even help ourselves we talking about India,” Lorelei Monsanto said.

“He could try assisting his own people by issuing our tax refunds!” Gerianne Bryan-Ledee said.

“Legislate RETROACTIVE WAGES EARNED 30 YEARS AGO BUT NEVER PAID to Public School Educators,” Suzi Grbinich said on St. Thomas. “Contact RETROACTIVE WAGE COMMISSION to find out how much you are owed!” 

“I don’t understand this,” Dora Magras-Cerge said on Facebook. “Why doesn’t the governor ask for President Biden’s help to curb crime in the VI? Practically everything the VI has, was given to us from the US. India is a country with the 2nd highest population in the world, we barely have a pot to piss in. We need a helping hand, or two, or three ourselves. And many people here are helping our Caribbean neighbors who are trying to survive with an active volcano. What are we going to give??? Please stop. Our governor is acting like we are self sufficient. We are not!”

Mizurable Judah replied to Dora Magras-Cerge.

“I totally agree Hun, we have so much issues here he cannot address,” Judah said. “He putting his hat where his hands can reach.”

“Who’s government elected this man??” Lee Questel said on St. Thomas. “I coulda believe the people of the USVI did for him to work for we the people who put him there. We suffering as well he needs to realize his rass needs to get busy for we the people He’s not the United Nations ambassador. Where does his priorities and commitment to us Who put him in office lies??”

“He’s opening a line of communication. We have excess vaccines here cuz people are not taking them,” Brian Kelley said. “Once you start talking on one subject you can talk on others. Maybe not be so angry all the time and start asking one question. Why?”

Meanwhile, a top scientific adviser to the Indian government warned today that India would inevitably face further waves of the coronavirus pandemic, as almost 4,000 people died in the space of a day and 400,000 new cases are occurring nearly every day.

With hospitals scrabbling for beds and oxygen in response to a deadly second surge in infections, the World Health Organization said in a weekly report that India accounted for nearly half the coronavirus cases reported worldwide last week and a quarter of the deaths.

India accounted for 46 percent of the new COVID-19 cases recorded worldwide last week and one in four of deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.

Pranav Mishra, 19, reacts next to the body of his mother Mamta Mishra, 45, who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), before her cremation at a crematorium ground in New Delhi, India, May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

The surge of the coronavirus in India, including of a highly infectious new variant first identified there, has seen hospitals runs out of beds and oxygen, and morgues and crematoriums overflowing. Many people have died in ambulances and car parks waiting for a bed or oxygen.

Worldwide, 5.7 million new cases were reported last week and more than 93,000 deaths, the WHO said in its weekly epidemiological report. India reported nearly 2.6 million new cases, a 20 percent increase on the previous week, and 23,231 deaths.

The figures are based on official tallies, so India’s proportion could be even larger if, as many experts believe, a large number of cases and deaths are not being recorded there as the system becomes overwhelmed. India accounts for almost 18% of the world’s population.

Workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) work to extend the crematorium as the number of people who died from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) surges, as India’s outbreak spreads across South Asia, in Kathmandu, Nepal May 5, 2021. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

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