US President Donald Trump appeared to have backed India’s position on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in a TV interview not long after the remarks which he made while discussing its ban on exports of the anti-malarial drug led to an uproar.
Trump’s remarks at a news conference came across as a threat of retaliation against India- the largest exporter of the drug.
However, a closer look at the transcript of his interview to FOX News leads one to believe that he was actually responding to a question about a possible tit-for-tat for his decision to ban medical good exports and not India’s.
(Tune in to listen to his words on India from 08:35)
India, earlier on March 25, had banned exports of hydroxychloroquine. It has now said it will supply HCQ and paracetamol to neighbours as well as countries badly hit by the coronavirus ‘in view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic’.
“You know they put a stop because they wanted it for India. But there is a lot of good things coming from that,” Trump told Sean Hannity of Fox News in an interview.
“Lot of people looking at it and saying, you know…I don’t hear bad stories, I hear good stories. And I don’t hear anything where it is causing death.”
Trump said in his earlier controversial remarks that he had appreciated India’s ‘allowing our supply to come out,’ prompting the Communist Party of India-Marxist to accuse the government of ‘capitulation’ to ‘brazen blackmail’.
But as per reports by the Press Trust of India, high-ranking Indian and U. officials ‘were engaged over the issue of supply [of] HCQ to the US by certain Indian companies, following [a] telephonic conversation between Modi and Trump’.
“The decision to ease restrictions on export of the drug was result of a process,” it said.
(With agency inputs)