Amid the nationwide shortage of remdesivir, a broad-spectrum antiviral medication made by Gilead Sciences and meant for treating Covid-19 patients, a tweet by former Rajya Sabha MP Shahid Siddiqui suggested former INC president Rahul Gandhi has the drug stored at home. On the afternoon of Monday, Siddiqui tweeted he needed six injections of remdesivir for his wife who was admitted at the Moolchand Hospital in Delhi, apparently for COVID-19. On Monday, in response to a tweet, Siddiqui stated, “My wife is in ICU. Me & (sic) my daughter is sick for (the) last two weeks…”
Later on Monday, Siddiqui tweeted he was “Trying all avenues” and feeling “such helplessness”. At 9.49 PM, he tweeted that he had got remdesivir with help coming from “people I least expected”.
He tweeted that Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra had read his tweet and “came forward to provide Remsidivier (sic), which she had got for @RahulGandhi but didn’t require”. Siddiqui added, “I remain eternally grateful to Priyanka Ji for her humane gesture. She didn’t want me to but I had to publicly thank her.”
Siddiqui, who is also a journalist, was a Rajya Sabha MP, representing Uttar Pradesh from 2002 to 2008 on a nomination of the Samajwadi Party. Siddiqui had changed political affiliation frequently, having been with the BSP and Rashtriya Lok Dal, but his first notable political position was as head of the Congress’s minority cell in the late 1990s.
However, Siddiqui left the party and has been often critical of it, accusing the Congress of “appeasing Hindu communalism”. Siddiqui had claimed the Congress believed Muslims would vote for it out of “fear”.
Rahul Gandhi had tested positive for Covid-19 on 20 April.
On Tuesday, Siddiqui stated another INC leader, former MLA Mukesh Sharma, had given him two remdesivir injections. He tweeted, “Last night 2 Remsidivir injections were given for my wife by @priyankagandhi and 2 injections by Shri @MukeshSharmaMLA. I am grateful to both of them, they are quietly helping many patients. In this time of crises, we rise above all differnces (sic) to help each other. May God bless them.”
Note to readers: Remdesivir is not a panacea or a cure for Covid-19, experts have said in nationally broadcast programmes.