Former White House tenant Donald Trump’s push for a COVID-19 vaccine was less about saving American lives and mostly had to do with his chances of winning reelection in 2020, Pfizer’s Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla revealed in an interview with YouTube host Carlos Watson on Tuesday.
“Albert, what was your experience dealing with former President Trump, cause obviously, he had a lot of pressure on him as the president, right, and he was obviously looking not only towards his government scientists but obviously he interacted with the private sector in Operation Warp Speed and all that. What was your experience like with him?” asked Watson.
Bourla’s answer should come as a shock to no one.
“The President was calling me and he was making very clear that he would like to see [a vaccine] sooner rather than later, but he never pressed me to do something that would be inappropriate with the vaccine,” Bourla replied.
“How much pressure did you feel to get it done? Because you guys announced it effectively after the election [of President Joe Biden] so there was kind of a week there where he could have maybe announced it sooner but didn’t. How much pressure did you feel in that particular window?” Watson added.
Turns out that Bourla saw right through Trump’s coded speaking.
“The few times [Trump] was telling me that we need to do it fast. First, he would say, ‘We need to do it quickly, people are dying’ and then also he would add, ‘Of course, it would help me in the election, but people are the important thing.’ I was always very clear to him, and also to the campaign of the current president that no matter what, we will move at the speed of science. Some people wanted to move faster, some people wanted to move slower because for them, the election was an important milestone but for me that was non-existent. I wanted to do it as quickly. If I could do it a week earlier or two weeks earlier or three weeks earlier,” said Bourla.
“The important thing for me was the pressure of the billions of people that had suddenly invested their entire hopes on us and we had to deliver,” he continued.
“How do you feel about the rollout now?” Watson inquired.
“I was not happy with the speed as all Americans and all citizens of the world,” Bourla confessed, stressing that “it happened not because everybody was incompetent” but because “it was very complicated.”
Watch below via The Carlos Watson Show:
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.