Statement from President Smith: Tragedies in India, Israel: April 30, 2021

To the Eastern Michigan University community:

While we continue to closely monitor COVID-19 cases and the massive vaccination effort underway in our community and across the United States, it is important we also reflect on the increasingly dire humanitarian crisis in India, and the tragedy in Israel that occurred yesterday.

We've all been watching the horrific reports from India as the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to climb and the situation becomes more critical than any we have witnessed around the world. For those individuals in our community with family or friends in India, we can only imagine how difficult this time may be. Connie and I have been in contact with some of our alumni in India and they express first-hand the disaster that is unfolding around them. To all with family or friends in India, we stand with you and support you.

We also share those sentiments with our community members who have family and friends in Israel. Yesterday’s national tragedy at a religious festival has claimed at least 45 lives and injured more than 100 people. We share in the country’s deep sadness for everyone involved.

Weekends are often a time of hope and reflection. As we do so this weekend, these respective crises will be in the forefront of our thoughts.

James Smith, Ph.D.