Germany reacts to U.S. attempts to secure rights to coronavirus vaccine

Washington - After reports over the weekend that the United States was attempting to secure the rights to any coronavirus vaccine developed by a German pharmaceutical company, German politicians offered strong rebukes on Monday, reports the Washington Post.

According to the newspaper, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told the Funke newspaper group that “we cannot allow others to secure exclusive rights to the results of [German company’s] research” on vaccines or drugs.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, when asked to confirm a report the Trump administration was attempting to secure exclusive rights to any vaccine created by the German biopharmaceutical firm CureVac, said he had “heard from several other members of government today that is the case.”

He added the government would be discussing the matter during a regular emergency meeting on Monday.

Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper had reported Sunday that the Trump administration wanted to secure the rights and move research and development to the United States. The vaccine would be developed “only for the USA,” the newspaper said.

According to the Washington Post article, top White House aides were unaware of any communication by or offer from President Trump to CureVac.

The official cautioned, however, that Trump often has private conversations of which his staff is not aware. Therefore he could not definitively rule out that any such discussion had occurred.

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