PM Modi Is ‘Great’, Says Donald Trump After India Allows Hydroxychloroquine Exports To U.S.
A sizeable chunk of the 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine bought by the U.S. to combat the coronavirus pandemic is from India, President Donald Trump said during a TV interview on Monday night.
Trump also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “great” when he sought his help to allow exports of the anti-malarial drug to treat Covid-19 patients in the U.S.
On Tuesday, days after adding hydroxychloroquine to the list of active pharmaceutical ingredients that cannot be exported, India lifted the ban after Trump said his country could "retaliate" if it did not release stocks of the drug.
Trump and Modi spoke over the issue last week. During their telephonic conversation, Trump requested Modi to lift the hold on the American order of hydroxychloroquine.
"I bought millions of doses (of hydroxychloroquine). More than 29 million. I spoke to Prime Minister Modi, a lot of it (hydroxychloroquine) comes out of India. I asked him if he would release it? He was great. He was really good," Trump told Sean Hannity of Fox News on Monday night.
"You know they put a stop because they wanted it for India,” Trump said responding to a question on the usage of hydroxychloroquine. "I would be surprised if he (PM Modi) would, you know, because India does very well with the United States," Trump told reporters during a press briefing at the White House on Monday.
India is the biggest producer and largest exporter of the anti-malarial drug, touted by Trump as a “game-changer” in the fight against the coronavirus.
Hydroxychloroquine has been identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a possible treatment for Covid-19 and it is being tested on more than 1,500 coronavirus patients in New York. Anticipating that it will work, given the initial positive results, Trump has bought more than 29 million doses of the medication.
Trump and Modi enjoy a personal friendship as reflected in the president joining the prime minister at the "Howdy, Modi!" event in Houston last September. This February, Trump made a rare India-specific solo trip to Ahmedabad and New Delhi.