Germany “is not for sale“Rebelled Minister of Economy Peter Altmaier on the public television channel ARD. The government of Angela Merkel accused the United States of Donald Trump on Sunday evening of having attempted to appropriate a project for a vaccine against the coronavirus developed by a German laboratory, warning that it would do everything it could be developed in Europe.
And his interior counterpart Horst Seehofer confirmed the veracity of the information published the same day by the German daily Die Welt on an attempt by American President Donald Trump to get hold of the German laboratory by offering him a very large sum of money.
“I can just say that I have heard from government officials several times today that this is correctHe said at a press conference. He announced in the aftermath that the subject would be discussed Monday by the “crisis committee»Of the government responsible for piloting the fight against the coronavirus epidemic, which has affected nearly 5,000 people in Germany to date and has left 12 dead.
In the center of the German-American showdown: the German CureVac laboratory, located in Tübingen in the south-west of the country. He is one of those around the world working on a Covid-19 vaccine, receiving grants from the German government. He claims to be “a few months»To be able to present a project for validation.
According to the German newspaper, American President Donald Trump is trying to attract millions of dollars from German scientists working on this potential vaccine or to obtain exclusivity for his country by investing in the company. This vaccine would then be “only for the USA“A source close to the German government told the newspaper.
A US government official, interviewed by AFP on Sunday, said the case was “greatly exaggerated” Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said the US government had spoken to more than 25 pharmaceutical companies claiming to be able to develop a vaccine and assured that “any solution that would be found would be shared with the rest of the world“
The fact is, however, that the CEO of the German company was personally invited by the President on March 3 to the White House to discuss “strategies and opportunities for rapid development of a coronavirus vaccine“, According to a press release from this laboratory.
Curiously, the company CureVac announced a week later, on March 11, the surprise departure of this CEO, without giving any reason. In the meantime, resistance was clearly organized on the German side, and in particular within the company concerned, in the face of American inclinations.
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The German Minister for the Economy thus congratulated the “great decision“Of CureVac not to give in to American advances and to have”answered clearly“
The chairman of the German Liberal Party (FDP), Christian Lindner, was less diplomatic towards Donald Trump. “During the electoral period all means are obviously good for the American presidentAnxious to secure the glory of the first vaccine, he said. “The fight against the coronavirus is a task that concerns all of humanity, there is no room for selfishness“, he added.
And the chairman of the Health Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, Erwin Rüdel, warned the United States against “a competition»International focus on vaccine production. Berlin judged “very important to be able to produce vaccines in Germany and Europe“, And warned that he could veto investment projects in national companies deemed strategic.
“The government has the opportunity to closely examine the acquisitions of German companies by foreign states, especially if it concerns the security interests of Germany and EuropeAdded the Ministry of Economy.