Trump accused of trying to ‘poach’ German scientists working on coronavirus vaccine

According to German broadsheet Die Welt, Trump is looking to have an exclusive licence rolled out in the United States. Berlin is reportedly looking to make its own offers to biotech firm CureVac, based in Thuringia state, but with offices in Frankfurt and Boston. A source close to the German government said under Trump’s plans, a vaccine would be “only for the United States”.

CureVac lists its specialists as “development of treatments against cancer, antibody-based therapies, treatment of rare illnesses and prophylactic vaccines”.

A Federal Ministry of Health spokesman said: “The German government is very interested in having the development of vaccines and active substances against the novel coronavirus undertaken in Germany and Europe.”

Then CEO of CureVac Daniel Menichella was invited to the White House on March 2 to meet with Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence and representatives of pharmaceutical companies.

Mr Menichella said: “We are very confident that we will be able to develop a potent vaccine candidate within a few months.”

CureVac this week announced Mr Menichella is being replaced as CEO by founder Ingmar Hoerr.

In the announcement Mr Menichella was credited for his role in the start of the programme to tackle coronavirus, but the statement offered no reason or comment from the outgoing CEO.

Mr Hoerr was praised by deputy chairman of the supervisory board Jean Stephenne who said: “We are convinced that he and his team will succeed in developing important MRNA therapeutics and vaccines, such as those against the coronavirus.”

The amount of coronavirus cases in the US passed 2,800 on Saturday with one town Teaneck in New Jersey calling on all residents to self quarantine.

Deputy Mayor Ellie Katz told CNN: “We don’t know how it happened.

“Teaneck has been at the forefront from the beginning.

“We were one of the first to close our municipal buildings and close our schools.”

The town has a population of just under 40,000 cases but cases are understood to have developed overnight to 25.


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At the time of writing, West Virginia remains the only state without confirmed cases.

In West Virginia 31 people have been tested with 26 testing negative.

The remaining five results are pending.

Governor Jim Justice has closed schools in the state.

Mr Justice said: “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in West Virginia.

“However, it’s anticipated that the disease will come to West Virginia soon.”

President Trump has tested negative it was revealed: with a statement from Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham explaining: “Last night after an in-depth discussion with the President regarding COVID-19 testing, he elected to proceed.

“One week after having dinner with the Brazilian delegation in Mar-a-Lago, the President remains symptom-free.

“I have been in daily contact with the CDC and White House Coronavirus Task Force, and we are encouraging the implementation of all their best practices for exposure reduction and transmission mitigation.”

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