Timing In Life Is Everything

In my last post, I mentioned a COVID-19 vaccine may be in distribution before Biden’s Inauguration. With Pfizer’s announcement today, that’s all but certain. The importance of a 90% effective vaccine can’t be overstated. A market opening up well over 1000 points attests to its significance. For this octogenarian, this is akin to a prisoner getting the news he’ll likely get out of jail soon on new evidence.

The Pfizer news also jogged my memory. Wasn’t there some political noise over its vaccine and when it might be announced? A quick search of my saved documents brought up a letter to Pfizer’s CEO on Sept. 25. In the letter to Albert Bouria , 65 of the nation’s top academic health authorities told the CEO that Pfizer’s accelerated vaccine process and announcements were eroding public trust in ways that could ultimately cause enough people to refuse to take the drug, preventing the achievement of national herd immunity. Signing the letter were top leaders from U.S. medical schools. https://ldi.upenn.edu/news/five-ldi-senior-fellows-among-65-top-health-experts-letter-cautioning-pfizer-ceo-against The letter looked for a late November approval at the earliest. Of course, this would put it well after the election.

Sounds like some notable doctors just looking out for America. However, a closer look reveals one of its most prominent signatories was no other than Biden’s top medical advisor, Ezekiel Emanuel. On Oct 1, Pfizer CEO Bouria sent a memo to Pfizer employees saying the company is no longer bound by its previous prediction that it would be ready to submit to the FDA in October. He also decried the politicization of the vaccine development process by the Trump administration.

Wouldn’t the right path for Pfizer has been to proceed safely to a vaccine ASAP and let their records prove there was no politics or pressure involved. Maybe this was the case, but coming a week after the election, one can’t wonder if a political delay was involved.

Remember, I pointed out that House leader Nancy Pelosi warned the administration not to accept a UK vaccine OK before it went through a longer FDA review. The fact that the Brits might have had better testing made no difference. Clearly, Pelosi wanted no vaccines before the election.

At the time of the letter to Pfizer, Doctor Marty Makary from Johns Hopkins on Fox News expressed his fear the idea of an FDA delay was political. As the signatories on the Pfizer letter all seemed to lean left, it’s hard to not see it as political pressure. I hope this wasn’t the case, but at my age, any vaccine delay hits home. The question in my mind is, what if this news had been announced before the election as Pfizer had originally predicted?

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