Statement on COVID-19 and Global Solidarity
May 10, 2021
We know that many within our UNC family have been deeply affected by the unfolding epidemic in India and our hearts are heavy as we watch the toll that the epidemic is taking on the country, and the stress and anguish this causes for those who have family and friends affected. The COVID conundrum is what it has been called: Countries that seemed to have the virus in check suddenly surging with new outbreaks and countries that face persistently high rates of infection while rates are dropping in other regions. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in India today. India is now home to the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world. Millions of Indians are infected, and thousands are dying each day, with many deaths going uncounted. Hospitals are running out of oxygen, staff and beds. At the same time countries like Brazil have continued to face an enormous burden of infection over a long period of time with little sign of improvement, and other Latin American countries are facing new surges. As we start to feel some return to normalcy here in Chapel Hill due to the roll out of vaccines, we cannot lose sight of countries like India and Brazil that are under enormous strain from the pandemic. The Indian diaspora community has committed millions of dollars in assistance, and last week, the U.S. sent a hundred-million-dollar aid package to India, including testing kits, ventilators, oxygen cylinders, and P.P.E. Ventilators, oxygen generators andsyringes are also pouring into India from across Europe. For those who want to help, please see these sites for a list of vetted organizations that are accepting donations for medical and other needed supplies. We cannot rest until the world as a whole gains control over the pandemic. We cannot be complacent.
Suzanne Maman, PhD
Associate Dean for Global Health