An unidentified German government source reportedly claimed that Trump would do anything to get a vaccine for the United States, "but only for the United States."
Since coming to power a little over 3 years ago, the Trump administration has displayed an unprecedented talent in making a bad situation exponentially worse. While governments across the globe have been working overtime to restrict the spread of COVID-19, the President of the United States chose to dangerously downplay the impact of the pandemic. Way too many citizens have raised the alarm on how it's practically impossible to get tested for the virus in the country, despite Trump claims in that disastrous Oval Office speech last week that "our nation's unprecedented response to the coronavirus outbreak" is "the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history." Yeah, right.
Trump’s coronavirus record:— John Oberlin (@OMGno2trump) March 16, 2020
- ignore it
- call it a media hoax
- call it a Democrat hoax
- tell public to ignore it
- label it a "foreign" virus
- says its contained
- ignore scientists, doctors and experts
- give tax cuts to the rich
- lie, lie, lie...
If you thought he couldn't possibly make things worse for Americans at this time, Trump—the self-proclaimed maker of great deals—is now being accused of trying to poach a German firm working on a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. According to The New York Times, German officials told reporters over the weekend that the Trump administration made attempts to persuade a biopharmaceutical company named CureVac to move its research work to the United States aiming to gain exclusive access to a potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the firm.
BREAKING: Trump is trying to gain EXCLUSIVE rights to a potential vaccine being developed by a German firm, CureVac. This was confirmed by a German government source, who said that Trump is trying to secure the vaccine, “but only for the United States.”https://t.co/fTpOrZz3rh— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) March 15, 2020
Reuters' Paul Carrel and Andreas Rinke reported on Sunday that Berlin is trying to halt Washington's interest in the firm with German politicians insisting that no country should have a monopoly on any future vaccine. The report stated that the Welt am Sonntag German newspaper had previously reported of President Trump offering "large sums of money" to lure CureVac to the United States, prompting the German government to make counteroffers to convince the firm to stay. An unidentified German government source was quoted as saying that Trump was trying to secure the scientists' work exclusively and that he would do anything to get a vaccine for the United States, "but only for the United States."
Good morning from Tübingen, a German university town working on a vaccine for the novel #coronavirus.— Timothy B. Sailors (@tbsailors) March 15, 2020
I'm one of over 150,000 Americans in Germany. All around the globe, we oppose the xenophobic & bigoted "America First" policy of the Trump–Pence régime.#COVIDー19 #CureVac @Welt pic.twitter.com/kDmpTs152g
While Richard Grenell—the U.S. ambassador to Germany—denied the claims, another U.S. official said: "This story is wildly overplayed... We will continue to talk to any company that claims to be able to help. And any solution found would be shared with the world." Meanwhile, German government sources confirmed claims about the U.S. government's interest in CureVac. The offer is said to have followed a March 2 meeting at the White House that included the chief executive of CureVac, Daniel Menichella. The meeting was reportedly briefly attended by President Trump and also included Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the White House coronavirus task force.
German officials alarmed over what they see as Trump's aggressive 1bn US$ bid to take over Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company Curevac to secure possible COVID19 vaccine "just for US". Officials to offer incentives to Curevac & consider blocking sale.https://t.co/SByVxMzs72 pic.twitter.com/E7YEtzSDRE— Thorsten Benner (@thorstenbenner) March 15, 2020
In a statement on the day of the meeting, Menichella—an American who headed the firm for two years—said that "we are very confident that we will be able to develop a potent vaccine candidate within a few months." However, last week CureVac announced that Menichella is leaving the company, without giving any reason for his sudden departure. The company also issued a statement describing its vaccine work on Sunday, which states: "CureVac refrains from commenting on current media speculations and clearly rejects claims about the sale of the company or its technology."
The German Health Ministry confirmed a report that Trump “offered large sums of money” to the German pharmaceutical company CureVac to agree to sell rights to a possible coronavirus vaccine exclusively to America, “only for the US.” https://t.co/mwrFxRFtko— Kurt Andersen (@KBAndersen) March 15, 2020
Meanwhile, Germany’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, revealed that Chancellor Angela Merkel will lead a crisis meeting with ministers on Monday during which they will discuss a defense strategy for the firm. The coronavirus is no longer merely a health crisis, but "a question of national security," Seehofer said Sunday. He added that it's up to the government to ensure the security of not just its borders and food supply, but also "our medical products and our medicines."
German biopharmaceutical firm CureVac is at the center of an international dispute between Germany and the U.S., amid reports that Washington was trying to lure it to move its #coronavirus vaccine research to the U.S. to gain access to a potential vaccine https://t.co/OvFv4Y6EKy pic.twitter.com/rqeplZDg6L— Reuters (@Reuters) March 16, 2020
According to The Guardian, news of Trump attempting to poach CureVac has triggered angry responses from several German ministers. "Germany is not for sale," said economy minister Peter Altmaier. Erwin Rueddel, a conservative lawmaker on the German parliament's health committee, said that "international co-operation is important now, not national self-interest." Meanwhile, German health minister, Jens Spahn, said a takeover of CureVac by the Trump administration was "off the table" and that the firm would only develop a vaccine "for the whole world" and "not for individual countries."
UPDATE: German firm CureVac will NOT make a coronavirus vaccine exclusively available to the US per Trump's requests. "We want to develop a vaccine for the whole world and not for individual countries," said the founder of Hopp BioTech Holding.https://t.co/tzHfJkMc7q https://t.co/eZBkVAgmNf— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) March 15, 2020
CureVac, a privately held biotechnology firm that has its headquarters in the southwestern city of Tübingen, Germany, reportedly started research on a number of different vaccines and is now picking the two best prospects for clinical trials. The firm hopes to have an experimental vaccine that could go into trials as early as June or July. May other companies are currently working on developing vaccines for COVID-19.
The German health minister, Jens Spahn, said a takeover of CureVac by the Trump administration was “off the table”. CureVac would only develop vaccine “for the whole world”, Spahn said, “not for individual countries”.#trump #covid19https://t.co/Hq1QljLsdO— Jelle Simons (@jelle_simons) March 16, 2020