Trump grateful to healthcare workers, including Indian-Americans, for combating COVID-19: WH

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump is tremendously grateful to all the doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals, including Indian-Americans, who have selflessly risen to the occasion to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the White House has said.

More than 100,000 Indian-American doctors have contributed to the fight against the coronavirus and the president thanks them for their tireless, life-saving work, White House Assistant Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt said.

Many Indian-Americans have laid down their lives in the fight against the COVID-19.

This is for the first time that the White House has recognised the selfless contribution of the Indian-American doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals.

"President Trump is tremendously grateful for all of the doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals who have selflessly risen to the occasion to combat the coronavirus pandemic on the frontline," Leavitt said.

According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the contagion has infected over 10 million people and killed more than 516,000 across the world.

The US is the worst affected country with over 2.6 million cases and more than 1,28,000 deaths.

The COVID-19, which originated in China's Wuhan city in December last year, has also battered the world economy with the International Monetary Fund saying that the global economy is bound to suffer a "severe recession".

Scientists are racing against time to find a vaccine or medicine for its treatment.

Eminent Indian-American doctors from across the country thanked Trump for recognising their efforts.

"We are going through one of the most unprecedented crises of our lifetime. The leadership of President Trump has helped to reduce the economic damage to the country," Dr Raj Bhayani, president of New York chapter of American Association of Physicians of India-origin (AAPI), said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his recent first-ever address to an AAPI summit through video conferencing, said that he was proud of the achievements and contribution of the Indian-origin physicians in the battle against the COVID-19.

"Hundreds of Indian physicians in the US have fought this global war as frontline physicians/soldiers," said AAPI president Dr Suresh Reddy, adding that the organisation has honored more than 10,000 nurses in over 100 hospitals in over 40 states.

Welcoming Trump's praise for the doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals, Dr Naresh Parikh, former AAPI president from Atlanta, said that as compared to other countries, American citizens have done better due to the brilliant economic stimulus for businesses, physicians and direct payment to taxpayers who are in employment.

"We believe that under the leadership of Trump, America will come out even stronger once this crisis is over," Dr Parikh said.

Responding to a question, Dr Bhayani said that he and a group of eminent Indian-American doctors are planning to campaign for Trump in the key battleground states of Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Virginia.

They are working with Al Mason, co-chair of the Trump Victory Indian American Finance Committee.

"There is tremendous enthusiasm among Indians in the US to support Trump as Democrats are lining up against Modi and India as well as the Kashmir issue," he said, adding that one should not get surprised if people of Indian-origin play a major role in the 2020 elections.

Dr Humberto Nunez, a physician from Texas, said that healthcare professionals have been hit hard.

"Our hospitals are almost in full capacity, fortunately we have the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and resources to treat those patients properly in our hospitals, and my business got the financial support from the government through the care programme," he said.

Noting that the COVID-19 has taken a tremendous toll; mentally, physically and financially, not only on his patients but also on him and his family, neurologist Dr Vithalbhai D Dhaduk said that Trump has done an outstanding job to help people with PPP and loans, assisting healthcare workers with special federal funding and stabilising the financial and job market.

"We as an Indian community and US citizens are very proud of President Trump," said Dr Dhaduk, who is also the chairman of the Saurastra Patel Cultural Samaj.

Over the weekend, addressing the virtual AAPI summit, India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu described Indian-American doctors as real heroes' warriors in this fight against COVID19.


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