Pfizer CEO: Netanyahu was on top of everything

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla: Netanyahu called me 30 times asking: What about young people... what are you doing about South African variant?

Ido Ben Porat ,

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla
Reuters

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla spoke in an interview with the Financial Times about the involvement of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the deal to sell COVID-19 vaccines to Israel.

“The biggest thing that became clear was Bibi [Netanyahu] was on top of everything, he knew everything,” Bourla said. “He called me 30 times, asking: ‘What about young people . . . what are you doing about the South African variant?’ I’m sure he was doing it for his people, but I’m also sure he was thinking: ‘It could help me politically.’”

The interviewer suggested that turned out to be a miscalculation given that Netanyahu went on to lose power to which Bourla replied, “Maybe, but he did it very well.”

The Pfizer CEO explained that he decided on signing a deal with Israel first due to the fact that it has a small population with good data collection systems.

Greece was an option, said Bourla, but its electronic medical record-keeping was not up to scratch. He also considered Sweden, but was worried about upsetting other EU countries.



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