Rep. Ro Khanna addresses India’s COVID-19 crisis

The California congressman calls for the U.S. to provide more COVID-19 assistance to India, talks about Republican efforts to remove Rep. Liz Cheney and more.
4:24 | 05/10/21

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Transcript for Rep. Ro Khanna addresses India’s COVID-19 crisis
the second coronavirus wave continues to devastate India with the country now averaging over 391,000 new cases a day. Wow, that is a staggering number. Here to discuss is vicchair of the congressional caucus on India, California congressman ro Khanna. Congressman Khanna, thank you for being with us. And first off, we know you have family there in India. How is everyone doing? Well, unfortunately, my father's cousin passed away. There isn't an indian-american in this country who doesn't have relatives or friends who have either been hospitalized or passed away. I mean, it's just an awful staggering crisis. The worst in my lifetime for India. Congressman, sorry to hear. That. I know a lot of people, a lot of families are going through it. You think that one thing that could help countries around the world, and help us in the pandemic, and really, and stave off future pandemics possibly is that this idea of waiving vaccine patents. Why is that something you have fought for and why will it actually continue to be a fight? A lot of people are against it. The reason is other countries need to be able to produce and distribute the vaccine. It's not enough for America to just be vaccinated. The variants will come back and hurt us, if other countries don't, aren't able to produce it. And right now, they aren't even able to license it. They're willing to pay pfizer or moderna, but pfizer and modern haven't been willing to share the vaccine recipe they need to do that. Congressman, silicon valley is part of your district, and I know that you and members of your caucus have enlisted the help of tech giants, tech companies, to try to help solve this problem. What have you been able to accomplish so far? Amy, the response has been overwhelming. You have vinod khosla who pledged $100 million to help with oxygen there, you have people like Google, who have mobilized people, the owner of the Sacramento kings is trying to enlist the NBA to get oxygen into India, and secretary blinken has convened calls with all of the private sector leaders and diaspora, as well as U.P.S., FedEx to help. So the mobilization has been extraordinary. The mobilization extraordinary, you mentioned private business there, what more would you like to see, this country, maybe countries around the world, has that been enough yet to help India, that number we gave about the daily cases, it's just staggering, what more should the U.S. Be doing? I believe there are two things we need to do. One, the world needs to set up a fund of about $50 billion to help with the distribution and vaccination of the world's population. That would do it, it would help with manufacturing capacity. And second, we need to ask moderna and pfizer to license this technology. The United States government paid $2 billion to pfizer to so that they could make the vaccine. We gave moderna the ip. The least they could do is allow other countries the right to produce it and it's in our interest and it's the moral thing to do. Congressman, finally, I want to switch to another topic. This week Republicans will vote to remove Liz Cheney as house Republican conference chair for her criticism of former president trump's election lies, and you've said this, quote, I try to reach across the aisle when I can, but how can we have bipartisanship in the face of these lies? What does this vote mean for the future of the GOP? Amy, it's unbelievable. I mean Liz Cheney and I have heated disagreements on the armed services committee, but she at least recognizes that president Biden is legitimately elected. How are you supposed to have bipartisanship when almost half of the house of representatives doesn't believe that president Biden was legitimately elected? They have an identity crisis, and it's really sad. It's sad for our country. I mean, they should allow a recognition that this is the, that Joe Biden is the president, and figure out how we work together and it's sad that they're unwilling to do that. And in fact, throwing out Liz Cheney simply for recognizing what is a basic fact. Congressman, I wonder if they'll call you for your advice over on the GOP side. We shall see. I doubt that. Congressman ro Khanna, again, thank you for the time, our best to you and your family, and really, our brothers and sisters in India, going through you it right now. Thank you. Hope to see you down the road. Thank you for raising this issue with India. I really appreciate it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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