Politics

Pfizer CEO says people who spread vaccine misinformation are ‘criminals’ and cost ‘millions of lives’

On Tuesday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said that people who spread misinformation on COVID-19 vaccines are “criminals” who have cost “millions of lives.”

Bourla made his comments while speaking with Washington D.C.-based think tank Atlantic Council. “Those people are criminals,” Bourla said to Atlantic Council CEO Frederick Kempe. “They’re not bad people. They’re criminals because they have literally cost millions of lives.”

He also noted that he believes there is a “very small” group of people that circulate vaccine misinformation on purpose to mislead those who are hesitant to get vaccinated. 

A survey published Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicated that more than three-quarters of U.S. adults either believe or are unsure about at least one of eight statements about the coronavirus or vaccines which are considered “misinformation.”

The statements collected by the survey were: “The government is exaggerating the number of COVID-19 deaths; Pregnant women should not get the COVID-19 vaccine; Deaths due to the COVID-19 vaccine are being intentionally hidden by the government; The COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to cause infertility; Ivermectin is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19; You can get COVID-19 from the vaccine; The COVID-19 vaccines contain a microchip; and The COVID-19 vaccines can change your DNA.” 

As Bourla made his comments, millions of eligible American adults remain unvaccinated despite the vaccine having been available widely for a large part of this year. Public health personnel believe misinformation is to blame.

Bourla also noted on Tuesday that life for most can return “back to normal” once more of the unvaccinated get the shot. “The only thing that stands between the new way of life and the current way of life is, frankly, hesitancy to vaccinations,” he commented.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: KQED.ORG

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