Any U.S. citizen who is undecided about getting the COVID-19 vaccine should “look at India,” a Biden administration official said on Wednesday.
Andy Slavitt, the White House senior advisor for COVID-19 response, pointed out that the general public should compare the downward trends in the United States to the spikes seen in the Asian country.
While India reported its highest single-day death toll on Wednesday, the U.S. registered a 7-day rolling average of 619 per day, the lowest tally seen since July 6.
“Look at the data, look at India, and see the results of what happens when you can’t get vaccinated,” Slavitt said on MSNBC.
“So we’re going to just continue to make it easier and easier for people to one, get the questions answered, and two, take away every inconvenience that would possibly get in the way.”
Experts and officials believe a COVID-19 variant that first emerged in India is at least partially responsible for the country’s second coronavirus wave. Known as B.1.617, the variant has become the most common in the South Asian country, making up an estimated 2% of all cases, according to outbreak.info.
Nonetheless, it has 3 sublineages, one of which accounts for nearly 20% of infections in the country.
B.1.617 has been described as a “double mutant” by India’s Ministry of Health as it has 2 mutations on parts of the virus that help it hook onto our cells.