According to Reuters, President Trump is attempting to lure a German company working to develop a vaccine for coronavirus to move to the United States but has been met with resistance by German politicians. But the Trump administration says the news agency has some of its key facts wrong.
“Berlin is trying to stop Washington from persuading a German company seeking a coronavirus vaccine to move its research to the United States, prompting German politicians to insist no country should have a monopoly on any future vaccine,” Reuters reported Sunday.
“German government sources told Reuters on Sunday that the U.S. administration was looking into how it could gain access to a potential vaccine being developed by a German firm, CureVac,” the news agency explains. “Earlier, the Welt am Sonntag German newspaper reported that U.S. President Donald Trump had offered funds to lure CureVac to the United States, and the German government was making counter-offers to tempt it to stay.”
Reuters cites a report by German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, which provided a quote from an unidentified German government source stating that Trump was attempting to obtain the firm’s research “only for the United States.”
“The German government is very interested in ensuring that vaccines and active substances against the new coronavirus are also developed in Germany and Europe,” a German Health Ministry spokeswoman told the paper. “In this regard, the government is in intensive exchange with the company CureVac.”
The Trump administration, however, has pushed back against the initial reports on the president’s actions involving CureVac.
“Not true,” U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell tweeted Sunday in response to Reuters’ report. “The Welt story was wrong. But Business Insider, Reuters and others went with it anyway despite not having their own sources. Now everyone is back peddling.”
“This story is wildly overplayed,” an unnamed U.S. official told Reuters. “We will continue to talk to any company that claims to be able to help. And any solution found would be shared with the world.”
Not true. The Welt story was wrong. But Business Insider, Reuters and others went with it anyway despite not having their own sources. Now everyone is back peddling. https://t.co/88UohluwTj
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) March 15, 2020
Reuters appears to be standing by its story, though it makes a point of putting the onus of the key claim about Trump trying to get “exclusive” access to the research on Welt am Sonntag.
In a press conference Sunday, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Germany’s coronavirus crisis committee would be addressing CureVac in a meeting Monday, Reuters reports.
CureVac has responded to the reports, issuing a statement Sunday rejecting the “current rumors of an acquisition.” The commitment of the company, said Deitmar Hopp, CureVac’s primary investor, is to help people all over the world, “not just regionally.”
To contain the spread of the virus in the states, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci explained Sunday, that the Trump administration is recommending “stringent mitigation and containment,” but not a “complete lockdown.”
“We feel that with rather stringent mitigation and containment, without necessarily complete lockdown, we would be able to prevent ourselves from getting to where, unfortunately, Italy is now…,” said Fauci. “With regard to domestic travel bans, we always talk about it, consider everything. But I can tell you that has not been seriously considered, doing travel bans in the country. … I don’t see that right now or in the immediate future.”