US President Donald Trump on Monday (April 6) warned that Washington may retaliate against India if it does not export hydroxychloroquine, a anti-malaria drug used in the treatment of COVID-19 coronavirus, to the US.
President Trump 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," Trump told reporters 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.
Last week, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine for treating healthcare workers involved in the treatment of coronavirus patients.
On Saturday (April 4), President Trump had said that he had appealed to PM Modi to release US order of hydroxychloroquine stockpile that can be used to treat COVID-19 patients.
"After call today with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is giving serious consideration to releasing the hold it put on a US order for hydroxychloroquine," President Trump had said.
The US president also said that he too will take a tablet of hydroxychloroquine after talking to his doctors. "I may take it too, will have to talk to my doctors," he added.
"India makes a lot of it. They need a lot too for their billion-plus people. The hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug will be released through the Strategic National Stockpile for treatment. I said I would appreciate if they would release the amounts that we ordered of hydroxychloroquine," noted President Trump.