The German and US governments are currently battling over the Germany-based company CureVac, which is currently working on a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported, citing unnamed sources informed about the matter.
US President Donald Trump has reportedly been offering hefty sums to German scientists working on a vaccine in a bid to guarantee exclusive rights to their much-coveted brainchild, as the coronavirus pandemic has continued to sweep across the world.
According to an anonymous German government insider, quoted by the reputable media outlet, Trump was doing all he could with this regard, “but only for the US”.
On 2 March, CureVac’s then-CEO Daniel Menichella reportedly attended a meeting at the White House to negotiate details with Trump and his healthcare taskforce pertaining to the coronavirus vaccine development.
However, days later, on 11 March, CureVac announced shifts in its top management, with Manichella being replaced by company founder Ingmar Hoerr with no reasons given.
Separately, the newspaper reported that the German government had tried to offer the promising company financial incentives for it to continue its work on German soil, with a the country's Health Ministry spokesman telling Die Welt that the government is in “intensive” dialogue with CureVac.
"The German government is very interested in having the development of vaccines and treatments against the novel coronavirus undertaken in Germany and Europe", the spokesman said.
Tübingen-based CureVac, which has facilities in Frankfurt and the US city of Boston, as well as is allegedly linked with the German Health Ministry, declined Die Wel’s request for comment.
As recently as Friday, co-founder Florian von der Mülbe, who is in charge of the firm’s production lines, told Reuters that they had kicked off research into a number of possible vaccines, with the two most viable ones expected to be picked later on for clinical testing.
The timeframe for an experimental vaccine is June or July this year: if approved, it will then be tested on people.
According to Worldometers.info, the total number of cases has to date climbed to 162,674, with 6,069 deaths from the virus registered across the world. As many as 76,219 have recovered. Of the currently active cases (80,386), 93 percent are in a mild condition, whereas serious or critical cases, primarily among the senior population and those with chronic diseases, make up 7 percent.