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Anger as Trump alleged to have offered $1bn for German coronavirus vaccine

US president reportedly tried to secure exclusive control of vaccine supply.

Article originally published by The Week. Hargreaves Lansdown is not responsible for its content or accuracy and may not share the author's views. News and research are not personal recommendations to deal. All investments can fall in value so you could get back less than you invest.

US president reportedly tried to secure exclusive control of vaccine supply

According to Germany’s Welt am Sonntag, the US president offered $1bn (£809m) to biopharmaceutical company CureVac to secure the vaccine “only for the United States”.

However, in a press release, the company rejected “any claims on a possible sale of the company or its technology”.

Head of the company’s biggest investor, Christof Hettich, added that an exclusive contract with the US was out of the question, adding: “We want to develop a vaccine for the whole world and not individual countries.”

Responding the news of Trump’s alleged offer, German economic minister, Peter Altmaier, warned the president that “Germany is not for sale”. The Guardian reports that German health minister, Jens Spahn, added that exclusive access to the vaccine for the Trump administration was “off the table”.

In the US, immigration lawyer Greg Siskind tweeted that Trump’s move to poach the vaccine from an apparently allied nation was “basically declaring war on the world”.

The New York Times reports that two senior American officials claim German news accounts have been “overblown”, specifically referencing “any effort by the United States to secure exclusive access to a vaccine”.

However, Deutsche Welle adds that Germany’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, said that crisis meetings with ministers today will include discussion of a German defence strategy for the firm.

CureVac was founded 20 years ago by scientists at Tübingen University, with The Times reporting that the firm is privately owned and has raised at least €360m (£324m) from investors including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The company hopes to have an experimental vaccine developed by June or July, and then to secure approval for testing on people.

Reporting on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic so far, CNN said that the president has “performed in such an underwhelming fashion that you have to wonder whether something is wrong”.

This article was from The Week and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Article originally published by The Week. Hargreaves Lansdown is not responsible for its content or accuracy and may not share the author's views. News and research are not personal recommendations to deal. All investments can fall in value so you could get back less than you invest.

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