It seems appropriate that the country formed by immigrants, America, was released from the nightmare of Covid-19 by dedicated immigrants. These individuals have been responsible for developing the vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer, whose founders are also immigrants. Moreover, Pfizer’s CEO and the scientists who successfully made a crucial breakthrough on messenger RNA are also immigrants.
A report from the National Foundation has revealed that nearly 40% of physicians and registered nurses in the United States are foreign-born. Along with the native-born health workers, these health care professionals have been “the backbone” of America’s response to Covid-19. According to one major news outlet, “Nearly a third of the nurses who’ve died of coronavirus in the U.S. are Filipino, even though Filipino nurses make up just 4% of the nursing population nationwide.”
In New Jersey, for instance, immigrants Dr. Satyender Dev Khanna, a respected surgeon who headed the surgical departments of multiple hospitals, and his daughter, Dr. Priya Khanna, who was board-certified in both nephrology and internal medicine, worked tirelessly. They saved the lives of those stricken with the Covid virus in the early days of the pandemic when the medical field knew little about Covid. Tragically, while the two dedicated physicians saved lives, they lost theirs to this deadly virus.
Indian-born immigrant Manjit Singh, 29, was resting at Reedley Beach in Fresno County, California, when he heard cries for help from a mother and three children in the Kings River. Despite being unable to swim, Singh leaped into the water, unwound his turban on his head and threw it like a rope. With help, Manjit was able to pull two of the children from the river. The third was swept away by the current but, fortunately, was caught by others and taken to a hospital.
José Andrés, an immigrant who has become a well-known chef, started World Central Kitchen(WCK)to feed the hungry. In only a month, the kitchen was serving 22 cities. To date, WCK has served more than 33 million meals in 400+ cities.
While many workers sat home in the early weeks of the pandemic, immigrants from the Middle East and Africa were willing to work at the American Roots factory rather than collect unemployment at home. The usual knit caps and sweatshirts made were replaced with masks to protect front-line workers from the coronavirus.