According to a report said to have been confirmed by the German government, President Donald Trump tried to poach German scientists who are diligently working on a much-needed coronavirus vaccine by offering them large amounts of money to exclusively secure the vaccine for the United States.
Popular German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported that German company CureVac was offered the money for US rights to the vaccine. Currently the Paul Ehrlich Institute for Vaccines and Biomedical Medicines is working with CureVac on the vaccine as the coronavirus pandemic continues to increase all over the world.
CureVac denies any “rumors of an acquisition” or any solicitations from the US.
The company tweeted, “CureVac has not received from the US government or related entities an offer before, during and since the Task Force meeting in the White House on March 2… CureVac rejects all allegations from press.”
The German newspaper reported that a German government source stated that Trump was searching for a vaccine for the US, “but only for the USA.”
Reportedly, the German government is fighting fire with fire, and offering the company its own monetary payment in exchange for remaining in Germany.
A representative for the German health ministry told the paper that the government was having “intensive” talks with CureVac with the hopes that they would stay put.
The representative said, “The German government is very interested in ensuring that vaccines and active substances against the new coronavirus are also developed in Germany and Europe… In this regard, the government is in intensive exchange with the company CureVac.”
The health ministry official told Reuters, “We confirm the report in the Welt am Sonntag.”
CureVac’s chief production officer and cofounder, Florian von der Muelbe, told Reuters that an experimental vaccine was expected to be ready for human testing by this summer. The low dose vaccine is expected to be suited for mass production in CureVacs facilities.
CureVac released a statement saying that its outgoing CEO, Daniel Menichella, had received an invite to meet with Trump at the White House to discuss the production of the vaccine. Menicchella said, “We are very confident that we will be able to develop a potent vaccine candidate within a few months.”
Senior German politician and professor of health economics and epidemiology,Karl Lauterbach, tweeted his reaction: “The exclusive sale of a possible vaccine to the USA must be prevented by all means. Capitalism has limits.”