Merkel held out what was perceived in some quarters as a veiled threat on the issue of India calibrating Covid-19 vaccine exports since last month in order to focus on its domestic immunisation programme.
"Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to help India in its time of need", the statement said. Number one, we have a special responsibility to the American people.
India has set a new global record of the most number of coronavirus infections in a day, as the United States said it was racing to send help to the country.
"The United States has identified sources of specific raw material urgently required for Indian manufacture of the Covishield vaccine that will immediately be made available for India", a White House statement said.
Earlier, Anthony Fauci, the leading USA expert on disease control, had stated, "it is a dire situation that we're trying to help in any way we can we just have to see how things go. And obviously, they need to get their people vaccinated because that's the only way we're going to turn that around", Fauci said.
"This is a global pandemic and India demonstrates the risk of what can happen if we don't get the pandemic under control everywhere".
India's crematoriums and burial grounds are being overwhelmed by the devastating new surge of infections tearing through the populous country with terrifying speed, depleting the supply of life-saving oxygen to critical levels and leaving patients to die while waiting in line to see doctors. And it's why we made the biggest investment in COVAX and we are committed to sharing vaccine supply.
"We also continue to collaborate with our partners in India to battle this at the highest level".
The US Chamber of Commerce on Friday called on the Biden administration to release millions of stored doses of AstraZeneca vaccine for shipment to India, Brazil and other hard hit countries. "We know Secretary (of State, Tony) Blinken spoke to his counterpart on Tuesday and we remain deeply engaged with India at all levels as we work to combat this crisis of the pandemic together", Porter said.
Washington is under increasing pressure to do more to help India, the world's largest democracy and a strategic ally in President Joe Biden's efforts to counter China, as it grapples with a record-setting surge in coronavirus infections. Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar has also held several talks with his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken over the raw material of the vaccine. India is now dealing with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic which has proved to be much more devasting than the first.
Among the worldwide chorus was writer Salman Rushdie, who in a tweet addressed to US President Joe Biden said "the US has something like a vaccine glut".
Shekar Narasimhan, a major Democratic fundraiser for Biden's presidential campaign, urged the President to speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and "see if we can lend 10 million doses of AZ (AstraZeneca) vaccines like tomorrow". "We are ready to support", Von der Leyen said on Twitter.