India said on Tuesday it will allow exports of the wonderdrug hydroxychloroquine that doctors around the world have touted as a potential weapon in the fight against the Chinavirus. In mid March President Donald Trump first mentioned hydroxychloroquine from the White House podium at a Coronavirus Task Force briefing and demand for the medication took off. The pills have been used since the 1940’s to treat victims of malaria which is a common illness in the subcontinent and it’s also to alleviate the symptoms of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
On Feb. 23 100,000 people filled an Indian sports stadium for “Namaste Trump,” an event designed to reciprocate last fall’s Texas “Howdy Modi” rally that drew 50,000 Indian Americans to greet the prime minister. This was the president’s last diplomatic travel before the Chinavirus closed down international travel and it bolstered U.S.-Indian relations. Since India is the world’s main supplier of generic drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, it is critical that the US and other nations be allowed to import the medication.
The fact that hydroxychloroquine is a generic drug explains the deep skepticism and outright misinformation that so many Fake News and corporate media sources spread about the cure. Most cable news networks and print publications are reliant of Big Pharma advertising to stay in business, so downplaying a drug with expired patents is critical to the media’s patrons. If this common and rigorously tested drug alleviates the symptoms of Chinavirus it will lower the demand for more expensive new drugs developed by pharmaceutical companies. Also, if there is an alternative way to treat the symptoms and recover from the virus it eliminates the urgency of creating and distributing a vaccine to every American.