MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
India is among the world’s greatest producers of medicines, together with a sure malaria drug that President Trump has touted as a therapy for COVID-19. Final month, India restricted exports of that drug and several other others to make sure its personal home provide. Then Trump complained. NPR’s Lauren Frayer reviews on what occurred subsequent.
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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The opposite factor that we purchased an amazing quantity of is the hydroxychloroquine – hydroxychloroquine, which…
LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: It is the drug President Trump has referred to as a recreation changer for COVID-19, although there’s little medical proof. India makes many of the world’s provide of it. An Indian authorities epidemiologist, Raman Gangakhedkar, is skeptical of Trump’s declare.
RAMAN GANGAKHEDKAR: (Talking Hindi).
FRAYER: He says he doesn’t imagine hydroxychloroquine works on the coronavirus. It’s confirmed to deal with malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. And so it is one in every of a number of medicines, together with the painkiller acetaminophen, that India restricted exports of when the nation went into lockdown. However the US had already put in orders for hydroxychloroquine. And when Trump realized that they may not be fulfilled, he phoned up Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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TRUMP: I spoke to him Sunday morning, referred to as him. And I mentioned, we recognize your permitting our provide to come back out. If he does not enable it to come back out, that might be OK. However after all, there could also be retaliation. Why would not there be?
FRAYER: Sunetra Choudhury is the political editor of the Hindustan Occasions.
SUNETRA CHOUDHURY: All of us heard Trump’s assertion the place he’s seen to be making a not-so-subtle menace to India.
FRAYER: A day later, India introduced a reversal, saying it is ensured sufficient provides for Indians and is now able to export hydroxychloroquine to the US. Choudhury notes all of this comes simply six weeks after Trump was in India, hugging Prime Minister Modi at a stadium rally of 100 thousand individuals.
CHOUDHURY: The timing and the context of Trump being in India and India actually laying out the purple carpet – all of it collectively makes it a political controversy.
FRAYER: Opposition leaders accuse Modi of caving to U.S. stress. The Indian authorities denies that, although, and is casting this as a humanitarian gesture. In a textual content message to NPR, a authorities spokesman wrote that India is supplying important medication to some nations who’ve been notably badly affected by the pandemic. The U.S. has had greater than 13,000 coronavirus deaths, in comparison with about 150 reported in India.
Lauren Frayer, NPR Information.
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