The vaccine company in question has denied reports of Trump's courtship.
Rabat – German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported on March 15 that US President Donald Trump offered German medical company CureVac $1 billion in exchange for exclusive rights to a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine the company is working on.
The Welt am Sonntag report, titled “Trump vs Berlin,” also claimed the German government was attempting to keep the vaccine research in the country by offering financial incentives to CureVac.
Reuters then reported that German government sources revealed the US was looking into “how it could gain access to a potential vaccine” from CureVac.
Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told the ARD broadcasting network, “Germany is not for sale.”
“We cannot allow a situation where others want to exclusively acquire the results of their research,” foreign minister Heiko Maas told the Funke Mediengruppe research network.
Erwin Rueddel, a conservative lawmaker on the German Parliament’s health committee, stressed, “International co-operation is important now, not national self-interest.”
German Health Minister Jens Spahn, however, assured that CureVac would only develop a COVID-19 vaccine “for the whole world, not for individual countries.”
A US official denied the Welt am Sonntag report on March 15.
Speaking to AFP, the official affirmed, “Any solution (to the COVID-19 pandemic) would be shared with the world.”
Meanwhile, CureVac released a statement of its own on March 15, confirming “internal efforts are focused on the development of a coronavirus vaccine with the goal to reach, help and to protect people and patients worldwide.”
CureVac initially declined to comment on Welt am Sonntag’s speculation but went on to outright deny the report on March 16.
“To make it clear again on coronavirus: 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,” the company shared on Twitter. “CureVac rejects all allegations from [the] press.”
To make it clear again on coronavirus: 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.
— CureVac (@CureVacAG) March 16, 2020