COVID-19: Trump thanks, praises Modi for Hydroxychloroquine export

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US President Donald Trump on Wednesday thanked India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allowing the export of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), the anti-malaria drug dubbed as a game-changer in the fight against coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic by some experts. President Trump also praised the prime minister for his “strong leadership” in helping “not just India, but humanity” in this fight.

“Extraordinary times require even closer cooperation between friends. Thank you India and the Indian people for the decision on HCQ. Will not be forgotten! Thank you PM Modi for your strong leadership in helping not just India, but humanity, in this fight!” the US President tweeted.

President Trump’s words of praise for PM Modi sends a clear message that the Indian government had taken the decision to partially export the HCQ only on humantarian ground and not under the “threat of retaliation” in international trade by the US.

Earlier on Monday (April 6), President Trump had warned of a possible ‘retaliation’ against India if it does not export hydroxychloroquine to the US. President Trump had issued the warning a few days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre banned export of the drug while trials are on to check the efficiency of  hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19 patients.

“I would be surprised if he would, you know, because India does very well with the United States,” he had said during a press briefing at the White House.

“So, I would be surprised if that were his (Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s) decision. He’d have to tell me that. I spoke to him Sunday morning, called him, and I said we’d appreciate your allowing our supply to come out. If he doesn’t allow it to come out, that would be okay, but of course there may be retaliation. Why wouldn’t there be?” he added.

Meanwhile, the Centre on Wednesday assured that India will not face any shortage of hydroxychloroquine. “It has been ensured that not only today, even in the future, there will not be any lack of HCQ (hydroxychloroquine) as and when needed,” Union Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Aggarwal said at a press briefing in New Delhi.