German government ministers have reacted furiously to reports the Trump administration has tried to buy exclusive rights to a coronavirus vaccine being developed by a German firm.
According to the German newspaper, Welt is Sonntag cited German government sources as saying the Trump administration offered a billion dollars to secure exclusive rights to a coronavirus vaccine being developed by the firm CureVac, but only for the USA.
The German health ministry told Reuters, We confirm the report in the Welt is Sonntag.
Following the report, Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, insisted on Sunday that the government would not allow President Donald Trump to push ahead with such a plan.
German researchers play a leading role in drug and vaccine development, and we cannot allow others to seek exclusive results, he told the media group, Funke.
Germany is not for sale, the country’s economy minister, Peter Altmaier, told the broadcaster ARD on Sunday, AFP.
Karl Lauterbach, a senior German politician, and professor of health economics and epidemiology tweeted in response to the story, The exclusive sale of a possible vaccine to the USA must be prevented by all means. Capitalism has limits.
A US official told AFP on Sunday that the report was wildly overplayed and denied any vaccine would be exclusive to the US.
We will continue to talk to any company that claims to be able to help, the person said. And any solution found would be shared with the world.
Florian von der Muelbe, CureVac’s chief production officer and co-founder, told Reuters last week that the company hoped to have an experimental vaccine ready by June or July so it could seek permission to start testing on humans.