President Joe Biden’s oft-repeated talking point that COVID-19 was a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” was further undermined last week by the testimony of a Pfizer executive before the European Parliament.
Janine Small, president of Developed Markets with Pfizer, stated that the company’s COVID-19 vaccine was not tested for its ability to prevent transmission of the virus prior to it being distributed.
“So, there are no misunderstandings: Was the Pfizer COVID vaccine tested on stopping the transmission of the virus before it entered the market?” Rob Roos, a European member of Parliament from the Netherlands, asked Small at an Oct. 10 hearing before the EU’s Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic in Brussels.
“If not, please say it clearly. If yes, are you willing to share the data with this committee? And I really want a straight answer, yes or no, and I’m looking forward to it,” Roos said.
“No,” Small responded. “We had to really move at the speed of science to really understand what is taking place in the market.”
Watch as Pfizer executive Janine Small admits to EU parliament that Pfizer did not test the vaccine for preventing transmission of Covid prior to it being made available to the public.
Small says, “We had to really move at the speed of science..we had to do everything at risk.” pic.twitter.com/FvTn01zv3J
— True North (@TrueNorthCentre) October 11, 2022
To be clear, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a Dec. 11, 2020, news release announcing an Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer vaccine made no claim it would prevent transmission.
“[A]t this time, data are not available to make a determination about how long the vaccine will provide protection, nor is there evidence that the vaccine prevents transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from person to person,” the FDA said.
An Associated Press fact-check also noted, “Pfizer never claimed to have studied the issue before the vaccine’s market release.”
Additionally, Reuters reported BioNTech — the company that partnered with Pfizer to manufacture the vaccine — stated publicly at that time it would take three to six months of more study to answer the transmissibility question.
Roos tweeted last week that the “get vaccinated for others” push by his own government was a lie.
“If you don’t get vaccinated, you’re antisocial,” and “you don’t get vaccinated just for yourself, but also for others,” Roos recounted was what was said to the public. “Today, this turns out to be complete nonsense.”
“Get vaccinated for others” was always a lie.
The only purpose of the #COVID passport: forcing people to get vaccinated.
The world needs to know. Share this video! ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/su1WqgB4dO
— Rob Roos MEP 🇳🇱 (@Rob_Roos) October 11, 2022
Roos told Reuters fact-checkers that his problem was not with Pfizer.
“My message isn’t about Pfizer at all. My message is about governments using a misleading argument to infringe on fundamental rights. Governments worldwide have introduced COVID mandates and passports that had an enormous impact on millions of people,” he said via email.
The Associated Press pointed out that public officials, including Biden, “have suggested on multiple occasions that COVID-19 vaccines prevent transmission, but that’s an overstatement.”
In September 2021 remarks from the White House, Biden said, “This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
The following month in Illinois, the president stated that he was requiring all military personnel and federal workers and federal contractors to get vaccinated.
“We’re making sure healthcare workers are vaccinated, because if you seek care at a healthcare facility, you should have the certainty that…the people providing that care are protected from COVID and cannot spread it to you,” Biden explained.
“The fact is, this has been a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Unvaccinated. The unvaccinated overcrowd our hospitals, overrunning emergency rooms and intensive care units,” he said.
Biden also announced at the Illinois event that his administration would be rolling out a nationwide vaccine mandate for companies employing 100 or more, which the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately struck down in January.
In July, Dr. Debra Birx, the former White House COVID-19 response coordinator, told Fox News host Neil Cavuto she “knew these vaccines were not going to protect against infection.”
“And I think we overplayed the vaccines, and it made people then worry that it’s not going to protect against severe disease and hospitalization. It will,” she added. “But let’s be very clear: 50 percent of the people who died from the omicron surge were older, vaccinated.”
Both Reuters and AP highlighted in its fact checks that there are studies that found COVID vaccines reduced transmission, especially with the early variants, but did not prevent spread of the virus.
Hindsight is obviously 20/20, but officials like Biden wrongly used fear, guilt and the power of the federal government to push people to get vaccinated based, in part, on a false proposition about vaccines’ ability to stop or greatly limit the spread.
How many thousands of Americans lost their jobs because they did not comply with mandates misleadingly sold to the public?