Germany tries to stop US from luring away firm seeking coronavirus vaccine
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.
Germany’s Health Ministry confirmed a report in newspaper Welt am Sonntag, which said President Donald Trump had offered funds to lure the company CureVac to the United States, and the German government was making counter-offers to tempt it to stay.
“The German government is very interested in ensuring that vaccines and active substances against the new coronavirus are also developed in Germany and Europe,” the newspaper quoted a Health Ministry official as saying.
“In this regard, the government is in intensive exchange with the company CureVac.”
Contacted by Reuters, a spokeswoman for the German Health Ministry said: “We confirm the report in the Welt am Sonntag.”
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.”
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.
On its website, CureVac said CEO Daniel Menichella early this month met Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and senior representatives of pharmaceutical and biotech companies to discuss a vaccine.
Karl Lauterbach, a professor of health economics and epidemiology who is also a senior lawmaker with the Social Democrats, junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition, tweeted in reaction to the Welt am Sonntag report:
“The exclusive sale of a possible vaccine to the USA must be prevented by all means. Capitalism has limits.”
March 13, 2020
The Trump Presidency Is OverIt has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain.
Editor’s Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here.
When, in January 2016, I wrote that despite being a lifelong Republican who worked in the previous three GOP administrations, I would never vote for Donald Trump, even though his administration would align much more with my policy views than a Hillary Clinton presidency would, a lot of my Republican friends were befuddled. How could I not vote for a person who checked far more of my policy boxes than his opponent?
What I explained then, and what I have said many times since, is that Trump is fundamentally unfit—intellectually, morally, temperamentally, and psychologically—for office. For me, that is the paramount consideration in electing a president, in part because at some point it’s reasonable to expect that a president will face an unexpected crisis—and at that point, the president’s judgment and discernment, his character and leadership ability, will really matter.
“Mr. Trump has no desire to acquaint himself with most issues, let alone master them” is how I put it four years ago. “No major presidential candidate has ever been quite as disdainful of knowledge, as indifferent to facts, as untroubled by his benightedness.” I added this:
Mr. Trump’s virulent combination of ignorance, emotional instability, demagogy, solipsism and vindictiveness would do more than result in a failed presidency; it could very well lead to national catastrophe. The prospect of Donald Trump as commander in chief should send a chill down the spine of every American.
It took until the second half of Trump’s first term, but the crisis has arrived in the form of the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s hard to name a president who has been as overwhelmed by a crisis as the coronavirus has overwhelmed Donald Trump.