Congress leader Shashi Tharoor slammed US President Donald Trump for his subtle threat to India if they did not provide US with hydroxychloroquine, the drug that has been recommended by many governments to treat the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
“Never in my decades of experience in world affairs have I heard a Head of State or Govt openly threatening another like this. What makes Indian hydroxychloroquine "our supply", Mr President? It only becomes your supply when India decides to sell it to you,” Tharoor tweeted.
US President Donald Trump has said that he would be ‘surprised’ if India does not lift the ban of export of hydroxychloroquine to Washington, hinting of a possible retaliation.
"I spoke to him (PM Modi), Sunday morning & I said we appreciate it that you are allowing our supply (of Hydroxychloroquine) 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?" Trump said.
India's Directorate General of Foreign Trade on April 4 banned the export of Hydroxychloroquine and its formulations with immediate effect and made it clear that there will be no exceptions.
Trump said he would appreciate if India releases the amount of Hydroxychloroquine that the US has ordered.
"And I said I would appreciate if they (India) would release the amounts that we ordered," he said, without mentioning that quantity of Hydroxychloroquine that has been ordered by US companies from India.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended the anti-malarial drug for those involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of the coronavirus and also, for the asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases.
Scientists across the world are racing against time to find either a vaccine or a therapeutic cure to the virus that has so far killed more than 64,000 people and infected 1.2 million in more than 150 countries.
Based on some initial results, the Trump administration is banking heavily on using Hydroxychloroquine for the successful treatment of coronavirus.