US president Donald Trump allegedly offered a German company billions of dollars to secure its work on a Covid-19 vaccine, according to a sensational report in Die Welt.
To make matters more problematic, Trump is believed to have sought the vaccine for the United States, and only for the United States — a development which has reportedly shocked many Germans.
In his calculation, what the bombastic US president didn’t count on was Dietmar Hopp — the patron of 1899 Hoffenheim holds 80% of the shares in Thuringia-based CureVac through his Dievini Hopp BioTech Holding, the report said.
The second largest shareholder is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which, together with CureVac, develops vaccines against a range of infectious diseases, the report said.
According to media sources, the company has other facilities in Frankfurt and Boston and was founded in 2000.
While Hopp assumes that a vaccine to curb the novel coronavirus could ideally be available this autumn, he made it known that a change of location of the company CureVac to the USA was out of the question, the report said.
“It goes without saying for me, it cannot be that a German company is developing the vaccine and that it is used exclusively in the USA,” said Hopp in an interview with internet portal Sport1.
“That was not an option for me. I personally have not spoken to Mr. Trump. He spoke to the company, and I was immediately told and asked what I thought of it, and I knew immediately that this was out of the question.”
Asked straight up when a vaccine against the corona virus would be available, Hopp said it depended on the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which is the Federal Institute for Vaccines, the report said.
“First, tests have to be done on animals and then on humans. But I think it should be available in the fall and then the next wave of renewed infections could come. ”
Hopp also credited the Draconian steps to contain the virus in Germany.
“It will be better for Germany that people stay at home whenever possible. I have canceled all my appointments, there is no other way. If people play along, the virus will be defeated, ” he said.
Never before in the middle of a pandemic has it been possible to unmask and decrypt the culprit so quickly, Die Welt said in an editorial.
Researchers around the world are working together to find a protective vaccine, a life-saving medicine against the lung disease Covid-19, as quickly as possible, the editorial said.
Trump’s attempt to attract valuable technology and clever scientists from Tübingen to America with a lot of money has shaken Germany.
The Federal Government, which in the past has gladly held back on similar occasions with reference to the forces of the market, this time unequivocally indicated that in this case the limits of resilience would have been reached, the editorial said.
“Germany is not for sale,” Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier deliberately put it, in an unfriendly manner.
According to the South China Morning Post, CureVac CEO Daniel Menichella was invited on March 2 to the White House to meet with Trump, his vice-president Mike Pence and representatives of pharmaceutical companies, as reported on the company’s website.
Following that visit, CureVac quoted Michella as saying, “We are very confident that we will be able to develop a potent vaccine candidate within a few months.”
The company’s website did not indicate if financial offers had been put on the table at the White House meeting.