US President Donald Trump tweeted that the US would donate ventilators to India in the fight against COVID-19. "We stand with India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during this pandemic".
He added that the United States is working with India on developing a vaccine for COVID-19. The President went onto say he is hopeful a COVID-19 vaccine would be available by the end of the year, and announced he was appointing an ex- pharmaceutical executive to take charge of the initiative under a project called "Operation Warp Speed".
"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," he told reporters in the White House as he unveiled the massive effort to speed track the development of coronavirus vaccine. "Yes. We are working very closely also with India," Mr Trump said responding to a question and described PM Modi as a "very good friend" of him.
Mr Trump's praise comes just over a month after he hinted at a possible retaliation if India does not lift its hold on the export of Hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug used in the treatment of coronavirus patients. He later sent his thanks after India allowed the United States to buy 29 million doses.
On Friday, India surpassed the COVID-19 total of China where the virus emerged late last year, confirming 85,215 coronavirus cases. India has ranked 11th in the world for coronavirus cases.