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Wednesday 8 July 2020

Hydroxychloroquine reaches US; ‘retaliation’ gives way to praise for Modi

On 8 April, a reporter had forced the US president to say if India had banned the export of hydroxychloroquine, there would be 'retaliation'

After the Narendra Modi government revised its policy of not exporting essential medicines in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID) outbreak in the country and sent consignments of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to countries that do not have an adequate supply of it, US President Donald Trump appreciated India’s help in its “hour of crisis”. “I want to thank Prime Minister Modi of India for allowing us to have what we requested for the problem… and he was terrific. We will remember it,” Trump said to reporters at his daily White House news conference on coronavirus today.

Trump tweeted soon thereafter: “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 Prime Minister @NarendraModi for your strong leadership in helping not just India, but humanity, in this fight!”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed with the US President that difficult times only bring friends closer. The prime minister quoted the US president’s tweet to say:

The Indian export of hydroxychloroquine will help millions of people in the US battling COVID. Two days ago, a pestering journalist had forced the US president to say that while he did not have any information that India had banned the export of the drug, if that turned out to be true, there would be “retaliation”.

Trump, in his regular White House press conference for coronavirus updates, praised Modi for his strong leadership.

Trump’s tweet has so far been retweeted more than 1,08,300 times and liked by over 4 lakh people. As of Wednesday night, over 14,600 Americans had lost their lives due to the contagious disease and more than 4.3 million people have been found infected.

Scientific and medical communities are engaged in finding vaccines and cures for this disease.

Hydroxychloroquine has been identified as a potential antidote for COVID-19. The drug has been tested on more than 1,500 patients in New York.

Trump has purchased more than 30 million tablets of hydroxychloroquine. In a phone conversation last week, Trump had requested Modi to send the medicine used for the treatment of malaria.

India is the main producer of this drug. The ban on its exports was lifted on Tuesday.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had said on Tuesday that three companies of the state would export these drugs to the US. Indian-Americans have welcomed the decision.  “Thank you, President Trump. I think you are well orchestrating the compulsion of history and demand of destiny that we and India be the best of friends, joined at the hip and yet as family, free hearts and minds to love across a spectrum of emotions, but always together,” tweeted Indian American attorney Ravi Batra.

A supporter of Trump, Al Maison said, “President Trump is a dignified and grateful person. When he says that he will not forget this move of India, he says this honestly. He is a true friend of India.”

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