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Bourla: Netanyahu fought for vaccines because it helped him politically

CM 15/08/2021

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Benjamin Netanyahu acted for the good of his people, but also to improve his political situation, according to Pfizer head Albert Bourla.
In an interview to the UK’s Financial Times published on Friday, Pfizer head Albert Bourla gave his version of the events leading up to Israel’s successful vaccination campaign that began in December.

Bourla’s version of the events was different than what Netanyahu told the nation at the time.
Bourla chose Israel for the vaccine’s first major rollout because he cut a deal with Netanyahu: Vaccines for the entire country in exchange for clinical data on how the vaccination campaign fares
He also saw Israel as an ideal playing field for purely business-related reasons. The country of choice needed to have a small population with good data collection systems. Greece was considered, but its data-collection systems were not up to date, Bourla said. The next country considered was Sweden, but Bourla nixed the option, not wanting to anger other EU countries who needed the vaccine just as badly.
Israel had all of the necessary requirements, but Netanyahu also played a part.
“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?’, Bourla explained.
He then added, “I’m sure he was doing it for his people, but I’m also sure he was thinking: ‘It could help me politically.'”
To interviewer David Crow’s comment that Netanyahu’s moves ended up being a miscalculation as he lost power soon after, Bourla responded, “Maybe, but he did it very well.”
The article did not make clear whether Bourla was referring to the vaccine campaign or the political savvy, or both.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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