Donald Trump has been accused of trying to bribe a German company working on a coronavirus vaccine to move to the United States.
According to Welt reports, Berlin is trying to stop Washington from persuading German scientists to move their research after politicians in the country insisted no country should have a monopoly on any future vaccine.
The US administration has been looking into how it could gain access to a potential vaccine being developed by a German firm, CureVac.
Although US officials say the story has been “wildly overplayed”, a German Health Ministry spokeswoman confirmed that the government is “in intensive exchange with the company”.
Welt am Sonntag quoted an unidentified German government source as saying Trump was trying to secure the scientists’ work exclusively, and would do anything to get a vaccine for the United States, “but only for the United States”.
This is depraved. The German government confirms that Trump apparently tried to bribe German scientists into giving him exclusive rights to the Covid-19 vaccine they were working on developing. He wanted it “for the US only.” How many new lows will he set for the United States? https://t.co/Qm7vFoArQT— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) March 15, 2020
“Only for the United States”
Last week Florian von der Muelbe, CureVac’s chief production officer and co-founder, told Reuters that the company had started with a multitude of coronavirus vaccine candidates and was now selecting the two best to go into clinical trials.
The privately-held company based in Tuebingen, Germany hopes to have an experimental vaccine ready by June or July to then seek the go-ahead from regulators for testing on humans.