Tharoor snubs Trump, says US will get drugs if India sells it

Tharoor’s statement comes after the Centre partially lifted the export ban on anti-malarial drugs, which Trump touts as a ‘game-changer’ in fighting the deadly coronavirus

Shashi Tharoor, US President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, coronavirus, COVID-19, export ban, anti-malarial drug,
Tharoor is one among a hopeless minority who sees a better “behavioural pattern” in Indian politics. File Photo: PTI

Following India’s decision of partially lifting the ban on export of hydroxychloroquine, Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor took a dig at US President Donald Trump and said he’s never seen the head of a state “openly threatening” another like this time.

Tharoor’s statement comes after the Centre partially lifted the export ban on anti-malarial drugs, which Trump touts as a ‘game-changer’ in fighting the deadly coronavirus.

POTUS on Sunday (April 5) urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the export of hydroxycloroquine, which the largest producer of the drug had banned on March 25 and tightened the restrictions on April 4 to prioritise domestic requirement.

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Related news: After Trump’s warning, India partially lifts export ban on hydroxychloroquine

Tharoor, who has been under-secretary general of the United Nations, hit out at the American president saying US will get the hydroxychloroquine supply when “India decides to sell it to you.”

“Never in my decades of experience in world affairs have I heard a Head of State or Government 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,” Mr Tharoor tweeted.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Tuesday (April 7) said that India would licence paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine in appropriate quantities to all its neighbouring countries dependent on India. “We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic,” NDTV quoted him as saying.

The development came after Trump in a White House press interaction said, “I would be surprised if he (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) would (retaliate to the US ban on export of medical goods), you know, because India does very well with the United States.”

Related news: Trump requests Modi to release malaria drug ordered by US

“I don’t like that decision, I didn’t hear that that was his decision. I know that he stopped it for other countries. I spoke to him yesterday, we had a very good talk and we’ll see whether or not that’s his… For many years, they’ve been taken advantage of the United States on trade. So I would be surprised if that were his 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 OK. But of course, there may be retaliation. Why wouldn’t there be,” the US President said.

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