Life in the United States may return to some form of normal – but “the danger lies ahead” if the world does not unite to tackle the pandemic elsewhere like India. said Myron Brilliant of the US Chamber of Commerce.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States last week said fully vaccinated people are no longer required to wear face masks in many settings, both indoors and outdoors.
Some retailers and restaurants have adopted these guidelines to facilitate mask mandates for customers who are fully vaccinated.
“We have seen progress here in the US, we have the pandemic under control, we are seeing economic recovery in critical sectors, including manufacturing,” said Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs for the chamber.
“But we need to be alarmed about what we are seeing in India and the potential for other waves. We are concerned about Southeast Asia, South Asia,” he told CNBC “Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday.
In countries like India, Nepal and Malaysia the number of Covid-19 cases has increased in the last few weeks.
India in particular has struggled with an increase in deaths and infections in recent weeks. In a few days, more than 400,000 cases were confirmed daily.
A mix of masked and unmasked individuals enjoyed The Strand of Hermosa Beach, California, a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relaxed guidelines for vaccinated individuals.
Jay L. Clendenin | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
“What is happening there is devastating,” said Brilliant, noting that millions of people in India are employed by US companies.
“Certainly we are not out of the woods here. The danger lies ahead if we do not address this pandemic and address the challenges in countries around the world, including India,” he said.
While parts of the world like the US and China may have seen economic growth, Brilliant said it “doesn’t matter” unless the global community works together to tackle new waves of Covid elsewhere.
“This virus is not behind us,” he said, referring to the cases in India.
“If we don’t get it under control, these countries will face not only the health crisis but the economic crisis as well,” he said.
It is important that the countries react in a coordinated manner, he said.
“The United States cannot act alone. We cannot get out of this pandemic on our own, we cannot see an economic recovery if we want to sell to 95% of the market outside the United States – we have to work together to get this pandemic under control “said Brilliant.