Donald Trump promises ventilators to India, says both countries working together on vaccine

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The United States will donate ventilators to “friends in India”, President Donald Trump has tweeted while also revealing that both countries are working together on a vaccine against Covid-19.

“We stand with India and @narendramodi during this pandemic. We’re also cooperating on vaccine development. Together we will beat the invisible enemy!,” Trump posted to Twitter on Friday.

It was apparently a reciprocal gesture to India’s decision last month to lift its own restrictions and export the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine , which Trump believed was effective in the fight against the coronavirus.

Earlier, addressing the media, Trump said he recognised Indian-Americans as “great” scientists and researchers, who are contributing in the development of a vaccine against the coronavirus.

“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. Great scientist and researchers,” PTI quoted him as telling reporters at the White House.

He said he was hopeful a vaccine would be available by the end of the year and announced a former head of vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline as the person leading the efforts.

“Yes. We are working very closely also with India,” Trump said responding to a question.

He described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “very good friend”, before he went on to tweet about the donation of ventilators.

There are an estimated four million Indian Americans in the United States, of which about 2.5 million are potential voters in the 2020 presidential elections this November. As a presidential candidate, Trump was the first nominee to hold a separate election rally for Indian American in October 2016 in New Jersey.



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