Officials in Germany are holding “crisis meetings” following a report that the Trump administration had offered the German biopharmaceutical firm CureVac “large sums of money” for the exclusive rights to a COVID-19 vaccine “but for the U.S. only.” UPDATE: Trump reportedly offered $1 billion.
The report emerged in the German newspaper Die Welt, the Guardian reported: “According to an anonymous source quoted in the newspaper, Trump was doing everything to secure a vaccine against the coronavirus for the US, ‘but for the US only’. The German government was reportedly offering its own financial incentives for the vaccine to stay in the country. The German health minister Jens Spahn said that a takeover of the CureVac company by the Trump administration was ‘off the table’. CureVac would only develop vaccine ‘for the whole world’, Spahn said, ‘not for individual countries’.”
The Washington Post adds: “Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday that the administration wanted to secure the rights and move research and development to the United States. The vaccine would be developed ‘only for the USA,’ the newspaper said. Seehofer said the issue would be discussed in Monday’s regular coronavirus crisis committee meeting, which also includes representatives of the health ministry and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office. … Top White House aides were unaware of any communication by or offer from President Trump to CureVac, according to a White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the matter by name. The official cautioned, however, that Trump often has private conversations of which his staff is not aware, and therefore the official could not definitively rule out that any such discussion had occurred.”