U.S. President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hug at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, India, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. India poured on the pageantry with a joyful, colorful welcome for President Donald Trump on Monday that kicked off a whirlwind 36-hour visit meant to reaffirm U.S.-India ties while providing enviable overseas imagery for a president in a re-election year. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Washington: United States President Donald Trump late on Friday said that his country would donate ventilators to India in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Trump also expressed his support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that India and US would overcome the health crisis together.

“I am proud to announce that the United States will donate ventilators to our friends in India,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “We stand with India and Narendra Modi during this pandemic. We’re also cooperating on vaccine development. Together we will beat the invisible enemy!”

During a press briefing earlier in the day, Trump said that US and India were coordinating for research and a vaccine for Covid-19. “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,” Trump said in response to a question, according to PTI. “Great scientist and researchers.”

Trump’s praise for India came over a month after he had hinted at retaliation if the country failed to provide US the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, one of the experimental and unproven drugs used to fight the virus. Just hours after Trump’s warning, the Centre revoked its earlier ban on the export of the crucial drug and agreed to supply it to the US.

India has reported 81,970 cases of the coronavirus and 2,649 deaths so far, according to data from the Union health ministry. The data from state health departments, however, showed that India has surpassed China’s coronavirus tally with over 85,000 cases. The US, meanwhile, has recorded over 14 lakh cases and 87,530 deaths, making it the worst-hit country in the world.

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