Rahul Gandhi responds to Donald Trump’s warning to India: ‘Friendship isn’t about retaliation’

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Updated: April 7, 2020 1:22:53 PM

President Donald Trump had warned India of retaliation if it did not allow the supply of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to the US. The country has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world

Rahul Gandhi’s remark came after the Centre cleared the supply essential drugs to neighbouring nations as well as those badly affected by the pandemic. (File Photo)

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday hit out at the United States President Donald Trump over his threat of retaliation against India if it did not agree to export hydroxychloroquine, a key anti-malarial drug that he believes to be effective in the treatment of coronavirus.

Responding to a question on India’s ban on the export of medical goods at a press briefing at the White House today, Trump said, “For many years, they have taken advantage of the United States on trade. So I would be surprised if that (blocking export) were his (PM Modi) decision. He’d have to tell me that. I spoke to him Sunday morning, called him, and I said, we’d appreciate you 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?”

Responding to Trump’s statement, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said that India must secure its own interests in this hour of crisis first. “Friendship isn’t about retaliation. India must help all nations in their hour of need but lifesaving medicines should be made available to Indians in ample quantities first,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

Rahul’s statement came after the Centre said that India will be supplying essential drugs to neighbouring nations as well as those badly affected by the pandemic. The Ministry of External Affairs, however, warned against speculation or attempts to politicise the matter.

In order to meet the domestic requirements, India last month imposed curbs on the export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients and the medicines made from them, including paracetamol, as COVID-19 cases rose in India. Some of these restrictions have been eased now. However, the MEA has clarified that exports of hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol will be allowed depending on their availability after meeting domestic requirements.

With the COVID-19 pandemic gripping 184 nations across the globe, the United States of America has emerged as the country with the highest number of cases at 3,66,000 with over 10,000 deaths. India, on the other hand, has 3,981 active coronavirus cases, including 114 fatalities.

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