New Delhi: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday reacted strongly to US President Donald Trump’s ‘retaliation threat’ to India over possible non-export of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), remarking that he had never heard any head of state or government threatening another, just like Trump did. Also Read - 'Will Supply Essential Drugs to Badly-Affected Nations', India Partially Lifts Ban on Export of HCQ
Notably, on Monday, speaking at his daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Trump had said that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi doesn’t allow US’ order for hydroxychloroquine to come out, there may be a ‘retaliation’ to it. Also Read - 'If PM Modi Doesn't Allow...': Trump Warns India of 'Retaliation' if US Order of Hydroxychloroquine Not Released
Reacting to this, Tharoor tweeted: “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?” Also Read - Requested PM Modi to Release US Order of Hydroxychloroquine Stockpile, Says Trump
“It becomes your supply only when India decides to sell it to you,” he added.
Trump’s ‘threat’ came just two days after the two leaders had spoken on the phone, with the US President urging Modi to release the country’s order for hydroxychloroquine. On April 4, the Centre had banned the export of the drug.
HCQ has been suggested by many, including Trump himself, as a possible medicine for the novel coronavirus, no medicine to treat which currently exists.
Just hours after Trump’s ‘threat,’ the Centre today ‘partially’ lifted ban on export of HCQ, as well as paracetamol and also announced that it would license the two drugs to ‘all our neighbouring countries who are dependent on our capabilities.’
President Trump had in February come to India on a two-day visit, in what was his maiden state visit to the country.