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.
German government sources told Reuters on Sunday that the U.S. administration was looking into how it could gain access to a potential vaccine being developed by a German firm, CureVac.
Earlier, the Welt am Sonntag German newspaper reported that U.S. President Donald Trump had offered funds to lure CureVac to the United States, and the German government was making counter-offers to tempt it to stay.
Responding to the report, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, wrote on Twitter: “The Welt story was wrong.”
A U.S. official said: “This story is wildly overplayed … We will continue to talk to any company that claims to be able to help. And any solution found would be shared with the world.”
A German Health Ministry spokeswoman, confirming a quote in the newspaper, said: “The German government is very interested in ensuring that vaccines and active substances against the new coronavirus are also developed in Germany and Europe.”
“In this regard, the government is in intensive exchange with the company CureVac,” she added.
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