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Coronavirus developments at a glance—21 May

Our new campaign, Trump vs the WHO, European universities reopen, and more

Our debt, not theirs: Why should trainee nurses in the UK incur the debt for a full year’s tuition when they have spent part of that time on the front line of the battle against Covid-19? They should not.

Read about our new campaign here.


Here is the rest of today’s Covid-19 news…


A fifth coronavirus stimulus package making its way through the United States Congress would provide almost $10 billion in research-related funding, as well as a further $37bn for higher education institutions. The White House has launched another public-private partnership to speed up the development, manufacturing and distribution of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics for Covid-19.


Researchers across the world have come forward to defend the World Health Organization after US president Donald Trump accused the UN agency of mishandling the coronavirus crisis.


Universities throughout Europe have begun to reopen laboratories and classrooms after closures forced by the coronavirus pandemic, but many figures in research and higher education fear that the worst of the storm has yet to hit.

Research infrastructures have been severely disrupted by the pandemic, but they may soon find themselves in a better position than before.

The European Commission has come under fire for a lack of transparency around lobbying, after being unable to tell Research Professional News whether a breach of its rules earlier this year was a one-off.


The co-author of a review on post-Brexit research collaboration has likened Horizon Europe negotiations to “arm-wrestling with an octopus” but added that given the “unmanageable pressures” universities are facing from Covid-19, participation in EU research programmes could end up being “the least of our worries”.

The outgoing president of the Learned Society of Wales has called for maintenance of current levels of research funding in the midst of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Students in England have been given permission to return to their university accommodation to collect belongings.


African SARS-Cov-2 testing centres should rope in research laboratories at universities and research organisations to boost centres’ testing capacity, a journal paper has argued. South Africa has launched a rapid funding call to address “bottlenecks” in the country’s Covid-19 testing programme.

The Academy of Science of South Africa has called on government to broaden the thematic spectrum of its science response against the Covid-19 pandemic.