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G7 leaders try to ease tension; vow to coordinate on virus


The United States and its top economic allies pledged Monday to more closely share real-time information about the coronavirus and the availability of medical equipment and to support jobs, global trade and investment.

They also vowed to bolster science, research and technology and work to restore public confidence about the pandemic threatening the world's economy.

President Donald Trump and other members of the Group of Seven, which includes Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and France, held a teleconference to coordinate responses to the coronavirus and reduce U.S.-European tension over Trump's travel ban and reports about White House talks with a German company developing a vaccine.

"We are mobilizing the full range of instruments, including monetary and fiscal measures, as well as targeted actions, to support immediately and as much as necessary the workers, companies and sectors most affected," they said in a statement.

Trump has had an on-again, off-again relationship with top U.S. allies, but his top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said there was a high degree of cooperation on display during the teleconference.

"They're not always so agreeable, but they are today," Kudlow told reporters at the White House. "It's a wonder to see."

But the leaders also addressed a controversy involving German company CureVac that rattled top German officials, including Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, who said "Germany is not for sale."

On Sunday, Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper, citing unidentified German government sources, reported that the former head of CureVac joined Trump's March meeting with pharmaceutical managers. The report said Trump apparently offered the German firm a large amount of funding to secure its work for the U.S.

The company, which is based in Tuebingen, Germany, and has a site in Boston, on Monday denied reports that the Trump administration was angling to acquire it. In a tweet Monday, the company tweeted: "CureVac has not received from the U.S. government or related entities an offer before, during and since the task force meeting in the White House."

Shortly after the teleconference, the European Union announced it was providing $89.4 million (80 million euros) of financial support to CureVac to scale up development and production of a vaccine against the coronavirus.

"We are determined to provide CureVac with the financing it needs to quickly scale up development and production of a vaccine against the coronavirus," Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement. "I am proud that we have leading companies like CureVac in the EU. Their home is here. But their vaccines will benefit everyone, in Europe and beyond."

French President Emmanuel Macron considers that many unilateral decisions taken by countries across the globe are counterproductive in fighting the outbreak. He has sought to mediate tensions that flared last week when the U.S. imposed a travel ban on European countries without consulting them.

"We will coordinate research efforts on a vaccine and treatments, and work on economic and financial response," Macron tweeted.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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There is nothing G7 can do, absolutely zero.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

If there was ever a time to keep predatory capitalists like those in big pharma - and their financial backers - under control, it's now. None of the big pharmas, nor any government of any sort, should be allowed to claim exclusive control over any possible treatments for this or any other disease as globally impactful as COVID19.

Globe wide solutions shared among all is the best way to deal with this.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Big crisis is coming, get ready for a no job situation, high crime and things we saw in the past. G7 won't stop it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

To think that all of this was caused in a wet market in China because the Chinese government chose money over it's people not learning from the 2002/2003 SARS virus outbreak.

Now the world is scrambling to stop this made in China problem. A tiny little virus is bringing the world to its knees and people are losing their minds, livelihood (job income), fear of losing their homes, panic buying and hoarding, shortages of toilet paper now leading to people using paper towels, napkins and Kleenex and causing plumbing/sewer systems to back up and flood. Fighting for everyday goods in supermarkets has been witnessed in many parts of the world and now most countries are starting to shut their borders.

Oh and then there are the deaths, 7,157 as I write this. Even after the world manages to get back to some sort of normal, there are the families, friends and co-workers that will never see their lives return to normal having lost those to a virus that was created out of poor sanitation and health laws that the Chinese government was all too aware of but chose to ignore. Will this finally be enough to stop these wet markets in China for good? Clearly, this isn't China's problem anymore but the entire world's. Will be as one world get any say in what happens going forward as it affects us all?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Canada has just closed its borders to non citizens.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What possible rationale is there for a G-7 conference on this?

That a conference on such a global problem didn't include at least countries like China, Australia, Spain, India etc etc, shows how out of touch the "establishment" is.

The G-7 use by date has well and truly passed.

Safeguarding their interests???

0 ( +2 / -2 )

G-20 meeting would be more practical.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The report said Trump apparently offered the German firm a large amount of funding to secure its work for the U.S.

America uber alles?

This should be about international cooperation, not one country first above all others.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hmmmmmm.......   I think the panic cat is out of the bag.  When we have folks on TV talking about the Black Death and we see the health professionals (who I think are having the time of their lives) talking about millions of infected and hundreds of thousands of deaths, not sure what these politicians (who have never really achieved much anyway) think they can do to calm things down.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

America uber alles?

Probably Trump und bund first. Was Jared, Trump's virus 'coordinator', involved in dealing with the German firm?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"..and we see the health professionals (who I think are having the time of their lives) talking about millions of infected and hundreds of thousands of deaths ..."

We may actually be looking at millions of deaths worldwide. Spanish flu had an estimated 50 million.

And no, health professionals are not "having the time of their lives". They're putting them on the line for other people. We are all going to depend on these heroes and heroines to help us get through this, along with all the cleaners, shop workers, delivery people, firefighters, care workers, volunteers, family members and others who will try and keep our societies together.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

apologies.  I meant talking head health professionals like WHO and others.  On the TV  daily.  Not docs and nurses who are likely working double time and not having the times of their lives.

Not sure why everyone keeps raising the spectre of Spanish flu and the plague   Different times, different diseases, different mortality rates.

sure lets do what we can to slow or prevent the spread of this but equally invoking the spectre of a century ago (in a post war no antibiotic world) or seven centuries ago seems counter productive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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