US will send ventilators to India, announces President Donald Trump
United States President Donald Trump said on Saturday that his country will be sending ventilators to "friends in India". "We stand with India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during this pandemic," he wrote on Twitter. He announced both countries were working together on vaccine development and assured that the invisible enemy (coronavirus) will be defeated with cooperation. Read on for more details.
The US has the highest number of COVID-19 casualties in the world. 88,507 have died of the fatal disease. On Friday, India passed a grim benchmark of becoming the country with more number of coronavirus cases than China, from where the virus originated in December 2019. Across India, 2,753 have passed away and 85,784 are infected. The country's lockdown will be extended.
On his way to Camp David, where he will spend the weekend and hold meetings, Trump told reporters that the US has a tremendous supply of ventilators, some of which will be sent to India. Kayleigh McEnany, the White House Press Secretary, said India is among the few countries that would be getting the ventilators. She said India has been a great partner.
Trump claimed the vaccine would be available by the end of this year. "I just got back a short while ago from India recently and we are working very much with India and we have a tremendous Indian population in the US and many of the people that you are talking about are working on the vaccine too," he said.
I am proud to announce that the United States will donate ventilators to our friends in India. We stand with India and @narendramodi during this pandemic. We’re also cooperating on vaccine development. Together we will beat the invisible enemy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 15, 2020
Not long ago, Trump said India could face retaliation if it doesn't lift curbs on the export of Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug he touted revolutionary in the battle against COVID-19. Till now, India has sold nearly 29 million doses of the drug to the US. Earlier, the Health Ministry said India has three times more than what is needed for domestic use.
Interestingly, India was the last country which Trump visited before coronavirus pandemic ripped the US apart. On his first state visit to India in February, the US President attended a large event in Ahmedabad called 'Namaste Trump'. He then visited the Taj Mahal in Agra, along with his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Trump had called the trip extraordinary.