US-India Dosti? Trump calls India a 'polluter', claims it hid COVID-19 deaths during Presidential debate
Photo Credit: AFP

The US President Donald Trump mentioned India twice during the first presidential debate against his Democratic opponent Joe Biden on Tuesday evening. But however, the mentions were not in praise of India.

During the presidential debate on Tuesday night between him and Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden, they both sparred on the extent of the deaths caused by the pandemic. Biden said that the 200,000 people who died of the coronavirus were 20 per cent of the global death toll of 1 million while the US population is only 4 per cent of the world.

But, Trump defended the United States’ performance in managing the coronavirus pandemic by comparing the number of deaths in the country to figures put out by China, Russia, and India.

"When you talk about numbers you know how many people died in China? You know how many people died in Russia? You don't know how many people died in India. They don't give you a straight count," Trump said.

Trump said that the pandemic was China's fault, but Biden tried to deflect China's role wanting to pin the blame for its ravages on Trump.

Interestingly, the US is currently the worst-affected country in the world with the maximum number of Covid-19 cases, while India stands at number two, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile, Trump also brought up India when asked about climate change. "China sends up real dirt into the air. Russia does. India does. They all do,” he said. But, Biden stayed clear of making loose comments on India, whom he has firmly believed as a close ally even during the Barack Obama tenure.

The first debate was held in Cleveland was about domestic issues and there were no international questions on the agenda set out Chris Wallace of Fox News, who was the moderator for the debate. The mention of India and the two other countries brought a passing reference to foreign countries.

(Inputs from Agencies)

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