CBS News reported that a record 3,293 deaths occurred in India on Wednesday, bringing the country's death toll to more than 200,000. Since the start of the pandemic, India has had nearly 18 million cases of COVID-19.
As of Thursday afternoon, the fundraiser had collected nearly $250,000 of its $1 million goal, after more than 5,000 donations. Monies raised from the fundraiser will go toward furthering India's oxygen supply, providing life-saving equipment, setting up COVID care centers, and providing vaccinations and testing.
In a video posted to the fundraiser's website, both Priyanka and Nick spoke about India's rising COVID-19 numbers, hospitalizations and deaths, as well as its dwindling supplies.
"Over the past month, we have seen the sudden rise and ravaging effects of COVID-19 as it's blazed an unrelenting path across India," Priyanka said. "Even as the medics learn more about the virus, the threat continues to loom."
"We're appealing to you all to contribute to the healthcare system, which is at a breaking point right now," she added. "It's a humble request. Please contribute to our fundraiser on GiveIndia. Because unless everyone is safe, no one is safe."
Meanwhile, Nick called the situation "staggering," stating that "so much is needed right now to stop the spread of this dreaded disease."
"Every contribution matters," he added. "No matter how big or how small."
Priyanka also posted about the fundraiser on Instagram, sharing a video of herself emotionally pleading for support.
"Why do we need to care? Why is it so urgent right now?" she asked. "I'm sitting in London and hearing from my friends and family in India about how hospitals are at capacity. There are no rooms in ICUs, ambulances are too busy, oxygen supply is less, crematoriums having mass cremations because the volume of deaths is so much."
"India is my home, and India is bleeding. We as a global community need to care," Priyanka continued. "I'll tell you why we need to care, because unless everyone is safe, no one is safe. So please use your resources and focus your energy on helping stop this pandemic. Please donate... India needs you."
In the caption of her post, Priyanka referred to the current state of India as "the world’s worst COVID crisis."
"People are dying in record numbers. There is illness everywhere, and it’s only continuing to spread and kill at great speed and scale," she wrote in part. "I have set up a fundraiser with GiveIndia, the largest organization on the ground in India providing Covid relief. Whatever you can spare, truly makes a difference. Nearly 63 million people follow me on here, if even 100,000 of you donate $10, that’s $1 Million, and that’s huge."
Priyanka noted that she and her husband "already have and will continue to contribute" to the cause.
"We have all seen how far and wide this virus can spread, an ocean between us makes no difference. No one is safe unless everyone is safe," she wrote. "It’s so heartening to see so many people stepping up to help in so many ways. We need to beat this virus, and to do that requires ALL of us. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!"