Covering disruptive stories
As well as having labelled the virus a “hoax” and having falsely claimed that “anyone who wants a test can get a test”, Trump has also spread misinformation about the rapidly spreading virus via his favourite medium - Twitter, of course.
Now, he has been accused of bidding $1 billion in an effort to secure exclusive control of the vaccine, once it has been developed. Angela Merkel admitted as much, before also sharing that the German government was trying to counter-offer Trump by financially incentivising the drug firm to remain in the country.
While initial reports of his ‘bid’ to acquire the vaccine were dismissed as being “fake news”, a number of individuals within the German government in addition to Merkel have since come out and publicly confirmed the reports. So too has CureVac’s - the pharmaceutical company in question - main investor, who reprimanded the U.S. government's efforts to secure the vaccine exclusively as unethical.
“If we’re successful in developing an effective vaccine to combat the coronavirus in the near future, this should reach, protect and help people not only regionally but worldwide as a show of solidarity,” said Dietmar Hopp. “We want to develop a vaccine for the whole world and not individual countries.”
Since the coronavirus began, a positive impact has been seen for many Ecommerce health store with the increase demand for health related items such as masks, hand sanitizers, and vitamins. Around the world, pharmaceutical companies and researchers are scrambling to be the first to develop a vaccine to the virus which has swept through countries in what the World Health Organisation has now declared a global pandemic.
Germany is making serious headway, with scientists at the German Primate Center – Leibniz Institute for Primate Research having found an existing drug that may help treat Covid-19, and with scientists and researchers at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover Foundation, the BG-Unfallklinik Murnau, the LMU Munich, the Robert Koch Institute and the German Center for Infection Research having found that the drug camostat mesilate, which is already known to act against TMPRSS2, could block novel coronavirus infection. Canadian biopharmaceutical firm Medicago has also produced a Virus-Like Particle of the coronavirus, which is seen as the very first step in developing a Covid-19 vaccine, and says it plans on launching human trials with the vaccine in July or August.
The U.S. government has denied all allegations of the claim that it has tried to “buy out” Germany, having made a statement confirming it has been in discussions with more than 25 companies working to develop a vaccine, and that if it were to successfully acquire a vaccine it would in fact “share it with the rest of the world”.
The German government, however, seems to be telling a different story.
As does the German public, who, upon hearing about to attempt, responded with outrage and criticism at the idea of the largest country in the world putting its own “self-interest” above that of the rest of the world’s, especially at a time where society must work together and cooperate, not act out of self-interest and greed.
“German researchers are taking a leading role in developing medication and vaccines as part of global cooperation networks,” German foreign minister Heiko Maas said.
“We cannot allow a situation where others want to exclusively acquire the results of their research.”
Erwin Rüddel, a lawmaker on the German parliament’s health committee, agreed, “International cooperation is important now, not national self-interest.”
The ethics of attempting to monopolize a coronavirus vaccine - should one be developed fully in the near future - needs no further discussion. In a time of global pandemic, countries may be closing their borders, but the virus itself knows no bounds.
All eyes are on the pharmaceutical industry, as the world waits with bated breath to see whether it will succeed in developing a coronavirus vaccine before the highly contagious infection wreaks further havoc on the global population.
If governments and companies start trying to outbid each other in an effort to claim rights to a vaccine, it will make an already dangerous situation far more dangerous and most certainly more hostile.
Not only that, but it marks a sad day where individual profit and greed surpasses the need to work together as a global society, finding a cure and putting the common need first.