German ministers are offended and angry following reports that US President Donald Trump offered a German medical company an alleged ‘large sums of money’ for exclusive right to the Coronavirus vaccine.
Economy minister Peter Altmaier told broadcaster ARD, reacting to a front page report in Welt am Sonntag newspaper headlined “Trump vs Berlin” that, “Germany is not for sale!”.
The newspaper reported that Trump had offered $1Bn to the Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company CureVac to secure the vaccine “only for the United States”.
“International co-operation is important now, not national self-interest,” said Erwin Rüddel, a conservative lawmaker on the German parliament’s health committee.
The report angered people in Berlin.
Foreign minister Heiko Maas of the centre-left SPD, told the Funke Mediengruppe research network that, “German researchers are taking a leading role in developing medication and vaccines as part of global cooperation networks. We cannot allow a situation where others want to exclusively acquire the results of their research.”
German Health minister, Jens Spahn, said the takeover of CureVac by Trump was completely off the table and that CureVac would only develop a vaccine for the whole world and not for individual countries.
With the virus affecting more and more people it has led to massive hysteria and the closing down of a lot of institutions and businesses, not to mention advising people to stay indoors to avoid infections and infecting others.
Worldwide infections have grown to a staggering 86,0o0 according to the John Hopkins University tracker.
Interior minister Horst Seehofer was asked to confirm the attempts to court the German company. “I can only say that I have heard several times today from government officials that this is the case, and we will be discussing it in the crisis committee tomorrow,” he said.
A US official said that the news had been ‘wildly overplayed’ as the US government has spoken with several companies that claim they can help with the vaccine and most of the companies are already receiving funding from US investors to come up with a cure.
They also denied that the US was seeking out the cure for themselves and that should any cure be found it shall be shared with the world.