Pfizer CEO Received COVID-19 Vaccine
The CEO of Pfizer posted a photo of himself receiving the second COVID-19 vaccine on March 10. But an Aug. 5 tweet from Newsmax reporter Emerald Robinson misleadingly suggested he was not vaccinated. She updated the tweet hours later, acknowledging the CEO’s post – but after her complaint spread, uncorrected, to other social media.
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More than 165 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of August 5 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This number includes Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, whose company has partnered with German company BioNTech to develop a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine. It tweeted a photo of himself getting his second shot on March 10.
Despite this photo, Emerald Robinson, a reporter for the conservative news outlet Newsmax who has a habit of broadcasting questionable claims, tweeted to his 400,000 subscribers on August 5: “The CEO of Pfizer had to cancel a planned trip to Israel because he was not fully vaccinated. I repeat: BECAUSE HE HAS NOT BEEN VACCINATED.
Robinson included a link to a item with a title similar to his tweet. But this article was published on March 7, three days before Bourla’s second coup. The article noted that Bourla had received his first blow at that time and planned to reschedule a trip to Israel, which relied on strongly on the Pfizer vaccine.
About three and a half hours after his original message, Robinson added an update acknowledging Bourla’s tweet about his second dose.
This is not the first time Robinson has shared a misleading claim. We recently wrote about the misleading claims she made on Twitter questioning the existence of the delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19. And we wrote earlier in the pandemic about its amplification of a conspiracy theory suggesting vaccines could include microchips.
It is also not the first time that Bourla has been the subject of a misleading claim about the COVID-19 vaccine. In March, we wrote about a similar claim alleging that he “refused” to be vaccinated. We then explained that the request distorted what Bourla said in a December statement. interview on CNBC – and that he had already received his first blow.
After the vaccines first became available in December, their distribution was left largely to state governments, but for the most part they were manufactured accessible to the most vulnerable populations first.
So Bourla had said in this interview that he would take the vaccine as soon as he could, but did not want to set an example to “cut the line” to get it sooner. He described himself as “59 years old, healthy … not working on the front lines” so he was not given priority for the shot.
Editor’s Note: COVID-19 Project / SciCheck Vaccination is made possible by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The foundation has no control on our editorial decisions, and the opinions expressed in our articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the foundation. The goal of the project is to increase exposure to accurate information about COVID-19 and vaccines, while reducing the impact of misinformation.
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Bourla, Albert (@AlbertBourla). “Happy to receive my 2nd dose of Pfizer / BioNTech # COVID19 vaccine. There is nothing I want more than my loved ones and people all over the world to have the same opportunity. Although the journey is far from over, we are working tirelessly to defeat the virus. “Twitter. March 10, 2021.
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