Media Push Story that Trump Tried to Bribe German Company to Hoard Wuhan Coronavirus Vaccine

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


Do I smell a new impeachment angle cooking?

The mainstream media are currently running with a story backed by an anonymous source and a supposed confirmation. It alleges that President Trump tried to bribe a German company over a possible Wuhan Coronavirus vaccine. Not only that, the source claims that Trump wanted to hoard the vaccine so that only Americans could partake of it.

Welt am Sonntag also quoted an unidentified German government source as saying Trump was trying to secure the scientists’ work exclusively, and would do anything to get a vaccine for the United States, “but only for the United States.”

Reuters is a little more diplomatic with the use of “persuading” here. But the Twitter blue checkmarks were all over accusing him of bribing the company, with the insinuation being that Trump wanted the vaccine in order to hold it over the heads of other countries. Those allegations were supposedly bolstered by a quote from the German health minister confirming the details of the Welt am Sonntag report.


Well, that original report has pretty much fallen apart, which is par for the course when you are dealing with any Trump “bombshell.”

In other words, the only viable source in the story either retracted his statement or was misquoted by Reuters.

Richard Grenell, former Ambassador to Germany and now Acting DNI also says the report is bogus.

In the end, this looks like another case of fake news, with some anonymous source making a misleading accusation, knowing that the media will run with anything that allows them to attack the current administration.

So what really happened here? I’d guess that Trump (or an administration official) did inquire with this German company about moving research to the U.S. so that we could have access to it in short order once developed. That’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do, as the President should be doing everything he can to protect American citizen. Like most bouts of fake news, there’s probably a kernel of truth mixed in with the excrement.


But I’d also guess that the anonymous allegation of Trump only wanting to give it to U.S. residents once completed is made up nonsense. That doesn’t even begin to pass the smell test (though it passed Reuters’ rigorous standards). The German company in question is still a private company and would have the right to sell the vaccine to whoever they wanted.

But the orange man must be bad, so that means a likely mundane attempt at speeding up the development of a vaccine gets twisted into “Trump bribes German company to hoard coronavirus vaccine.” And our stalwart media do what they always do, which is spread the fake news far and wide.



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