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Coronavirus developments at a glance—11 June

US pharma trials, UK emergency funding, and EU pandemic preparedness

United States
The United States government has given pharmaceutical companies unprecedented access to public research infrastructure as part of its assault on Covid-19, according to the country’s leading infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci.

The UK’s national funder of research has funded 87 bids worth £24 million since launching its Covid-19 rapid-response research call at the end of March, it has said.

The government has refused to clarify how it decided to spend more than £126 million on two experimental vaccine projects at Oxford and Imperial while not funding other vaccine projects at Bristol and Nottingham.

A researcher advising the UK government on its response to the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted a “disconnect” between the advice of behavioural scientists and the government’s communications with the public.

Some of the EU’s most powerful member states have urged the European Commission to prioritise R&D as part of a bigger push to ensure the bloc is properly prepared for future pandemics. The influential think tank Bruegel has said more effort is needed to get Covid-19 recovery payments—including billions in R&D spending—to member states.

The Joint Research Centre is making two of its artificial intelligence tools available to researchers fighting fake news as part of a wider European Commission pushback against Covid-19 disinformation.

The National Research Foundation of South Africa has issued updates on how the coronavirus crisis is changing the way it will work this year.

South Africa’s higher education response to the novel coronavirus pandemic will have a “special focus” on mental health, the higher education minister said on 9 June.