It is not every day that the United States president asks another country for medical supplies.
But on Saturday, April 4, 2020, President Donald Trump called India Prime Minister Narendra Modi to request that India lift a ban on the export of antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had declared it a potential treatment for COVID-19 and usage in the U.S. — the global epicenter of the coronavirus with over 560,000 confirmed cases — has spiked as panicked Americans scramble for a miracle cure. India, which produces 70% of the world’s supply, had banned exports of the drug except on “humanitarian grounds.”
“There may be retaliation,” Trump said at the White House press conference Monday when asked what would happen if Modi refused to export. “Why wouldn’t there be?”
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