Twitter Files: How Pfizer suppressed protests against its vaccines

Posted on January 17, 2023


Mythological king of Elis, a small city located in eastern Greece, Augias is known for his stables that Hercules cleaned during the fifth part of these twelve labors.

If the children of Helios have become a model of the genre, the twitteresque stables hardly give us any other image, because Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk seem to have replaced Augias and Hercules for our contemporaries.

After the revelations of collusion with the American state, the blacklists and the millions of dollars paid by the FBI to the blue bird network, against the backdrop of the debate on anti-covid vaccines the latest revelations come before the scene.

So, the emails revealed during this great information purge show that a senior executive of the American giant Pfizer used influence to have tweets censored that could harm the sale of vaccines of the company directed since 2019 by the Greek veterinarian Albert Bourla, appointed while crossing the desert due to the expiration of his main patents.

A story that brings together a former FDA commissioner, a former 4-star US Army admiral, a Democratic lobbyist and a skeptical blogger.

A person of interest

To begin, let’s look at the main character: Scott Gottlieb is a doctor with 550,000 followers on Twitter. A former commissioner of the drug regulatory authority, he is a regular contributor to the CNBC channel, one of the many American equivalents of BFM Business. A prominent voice in the health debate, Gottlieb is the most important member of the executive committee of Pfizer’s board of directors and head of its regulatory and compliance committee, which oversees regulations and procedures applicable to the company’s sales and marketing.

These functions allow him to collect a tidy sum of 365,000 dollars annually from the company, where almost half of the turnover for the year 2021 is linked to vaccines against Covid-19.

A thorn in the side

This interest no doubt prompted him to request the removal of tweets questioning the vaccines offered by the company with the blue logo.

Two tweets in particular were highlighted by various email exchanges.

The first, published in early September 2021, came from a blogger, Justin Hart, 123,000 followers, who mocked the death rate of the Asian virus and questioned the interest in losing three years of schooling. child in the name of a disease that kills less than 1 % of the population.

Even more surprising is the second tweet that was targeted, just a week ago, because it was written by Doctor Brett Giroir, Gottlieb’s former colleague, admiral and co-responsible for public health in the Trump administration. A recognized man, far from being anti-vaccine, who had the misfortune to promote the superiority of natural immunity over vaccine immunity while encouraging vulnerable people to be vaccinated.

Avoid infection

In the face of these tweets, Gottlieb would have called the same lobbyist as in the Democratic administration, Todd O’Boyle, point of contact between Joe Biden and Twitter, so that the tweet would not go viral – without bad word. .

He would have written:

Here, he draws sweeping conclusions from a single retrospective study in Israel that have yet to be peer-reviewed. But this tweet would eventually go viral and lead to media coverage. »

Through Jira, Twitter’s internal complaints management system, O’Boyle allegedly sent the request, carefully failing to mention Gottlieb’s financial interests in the pharmaceutical company.

The Strategic Responsethat governs these cases, has decided that there is no violation of the rules of use, but a label “ misleading “, citing the misleading nature of the tweet, was added at the end.

A security rationale

The reasons for these attacks on the two tweets are of varying justification.

Justin Hart’s threatened the direct interests of Pfizer, which will soon see its vaccine approved for children aged 5 to 11 years. However, if parents begin to doubt the relevance of such vaccination, sales of this product may fall.

This argument, which Gottlieb did not assume, was added to an explanation coming from the main protagonist on Monday, January 9. Without denying any of what he was accused of, Gottlieb mentioned the climate of violence, including physical , against vaccination supporters. His strategy is safe, to prevent him and his family from being attacked one day by an enemy. In support of his claims, he himself published emails targeting tweets threatening his person and his family.

In a tweet published shortly after, Gottlieb added to his reasoning the desire for a respectful conversation on the topic of vaccines.

However, Brett Giroir’s tweet was nothing radical, insulting or violent but part of a peaceful debate between competent doctors on these topics.

Gottlieb also allegedly targeted tweets from Alex Berenson, an American journalist who won the 2007 Edgar Allan Poe Prize for his spy novel. The Loyal Spy and against the management of the pandemic as practiced in the West. A journalist supported for a long time by the new owner of the social network founded by Jack Dorsey and who would be wrong to repeatedly criticize Doctor Fauci, Donald Trump’s health advisor at the time to Joe Biden and known for his hatred from the beginning.

A veteran of controversy

Founded in 1846 in New York and initially booming in confectionery, Pfizer was not without its initial controversy. In 177 years of existence, the history of the company is illuminated by several cases. Between 1995 and 2009, the company would have paid nearly 6.171 billion dollars in fines in cases ranging from the deaths of Nigerian children during tests of anti-meningitis drugs in 1996 to the contamination of employees with the virus which was created in the laboratory through acts of corruption in The Chinese authorities, the Cahuzac-Rocard affair or even doubts about the contracts signed with different countries and authorities, which extends to the pressure on some states in South America.

The latest controversy brings us back to France and specifically to Marseille, where 300 patients who fell ill after being vaccinated against the American giant’s Covid-19 took the company to court. The first hearing took place on January 9.

A business chain

Elon Musk and several journalists launched in early December, the Twitter Files shed light on the American public debate over the past three years, covering the affairs of Hunter Biden and the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The close relationship between the network with 544 million users and the American authorities, from the federal government to the FBI, has already opened the eyes of the most skeptical, especially when it comes to the management of the pandemic and treatment of the last American. presidential election..

However, it is a safe bet that so far, we have only seen the tip of the iceberg.

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