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Harris's uncle discusses COVID-19 surge in India: 'The conditions are pretty bad'

Harris's uncle discusses COVID-19 surge in India: 'The conditions are pretty bad'
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Vice President Harris's uncle, 80-year-old G. Balachandran, on Thursday shed light on the current situation in India as the coronavirus surges throughout the embattled country.

"The conditions are pretty bad in India," he said during an interview with The Associated Press.

While the pandemic felt a bit removed from him before, now Balachandran says his close friends and family are falling ill and passing away.

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In order to minimize risk of infection, he spends most of his time inside so "nobody can infect me other than myself."

He considers himself lucky, as he's been vaccinated against COVID-19 in a country facing a vaccine shortage. 

In a 24-hour period, India has reported more than 400,000 coronavirus cases and more than 3,000 deaths.

The Biden administration has pledged to help India as the country grapples with skyrocketing infection rates, including by sending four cargo planes worth of critical supplies. Balachandran told the AP he has not spoken to his niece as of late about India's struggles, however.

The last time he talked to Harris was on his birthday in March, and they spoke mostly of family, Balachandran recalled. He tries to keep the coronavirus updates brief, as "she’s got a whole embassy that’s sending her cables every hour on all of India," he joked.