Stating that Washington DC is ‘thrilled’ with New Delhi’s leadership, America’s Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra, said that India and US can move forward in the direction of universal healthcare and making digital technology available.
He further affirmed confidence that India will make a strong effort in its G20 Presidency to move all the member nations with consensus.
Speaking to ANI, Xavier Becerra said, “Based on the conversation and relationship between Prime Minister Modi and President Biden, I think we can expect great things to happen between India and the US. Obviously, there is G20, and there are 18 more countries. We are very thrilled with the leadership we have seen from India.”
“In trying to move these global affairs forward, especially when it comes to pandemic preparedness…we are thrilled that India is so interested in partnering on cancer research and treatment. We want to make sure that we move forward on universal healthcare, making digital technology available. In so many ways, we are two partners riding in this great effort to help the world,” he added.
Xavier Becerra, who is set to arrive in India to participate in the G20 4th Health Working Group and Health Working Group Ministers Meeting, was in conversation with ANI about the G20.
The HHS Secretary said India is pushing a very progressive agenda and the US is “very supportive” of those efforts as it compliments what Washington DC is trying to accomplish as well. He said he hoped that 18 others could become willing partners to move forward.
On the partnership in Indo-Pacific and Quad vaccine, he said, “We certainly agree that there needs to be a mechanism to make sure that no one in the world, whoever region they are in, goes without. I know when it comes to pushing forward an agenda that lets us work cooperatively, that is one of the principal goals that India has during its leadership of the G20.”
“We want to be supportive of that. There is no doubt, that there would be challenges, in some places we won’t have a full agreement. But I believe India is going to make a strong effort in the G20 to move us all with consensus. We are very supportive of those efforts. Because, you cannot have disruptions in that level of cooperation, because then you will have disruptions in the supply chain,” he added.
On the positives that can come out of the growing partnership between the US and India, Becerra said strengthening the partnership between two regional and global leaders would also bring about better connectivity among other countries across the globe.
He added that the partnership between India and the US would be able to fill some of the gaps that have existed in the past.
“What we think is going to happen at the G20 is further building momentum towards working together. Some like India, and the US have more capacity than others, but I think we are all willing to try to share to make sure that we bring everyone on board,” he added.
Xavier Becerra will attend the G20 Health Working Group and Health Working Group Ministers Meeting on August 18 in Gandhinagar, where he will advance the United States’ priorities of “increasing our mutual prosperity, advancing democracy and human rights, addressing the climate crisis, and upholding a rules-based order grounded in international law”.
During his two-day visit to India from August 18-19, the HHS Secretary will, on August 18, hold a bilateral meeting with Indian ministers, according to the statement released by HHS Department.
On August 19, Secretary Xavier Becerra will hold a bilateral meeting with Brazil to discuss opportunities for US-Brazil health cooperation and Brazil’s 2024 G20 priorities as host.
Later that morning, Secretary Xavier Becerra will participate in Session 2 of the 4th Health Working Group and Health Working Group Ministers Meeting: Strengthening Cooperation in Pharmaceutical Sector with Focus on Availability & Access to Safe, Effective, Quality and Affordable Medical Countermeasures—VTDs (Vaccine, Therapeutics & Diagnostics).
Secretary Xavier Becerra will then participate in Session 3 of the 4th Health Working Group and Health Working Group Ministers Meeting: Digital Health Innovation & Solutions to Aid Universal Health Coverage & Improve Healthcare Service Delivery.
Finally, Secretary Xavier Becerra will participate in the G20 4th Health Working Group and Health Working Group Ministers Meeting Closing Ceremony.
(with inputs from ANI)