Pfizer quietly funded groups lobbying for vaccine mandates during the coronavirus pandemic, reports Twitter Files journalist Lee Fang.
The Chicago Urban League received $100,000 from Pfizer in early 2021. Eight months later, the group's president, Karen Freeman-Wilson, appeared on television to dismiss complaints that Chicago's plan to force employers to require COVID-19 vaccine mandates rules would disproportionately harm the Black community.
"The health and safety factor far outweighs the concern about shutting people out or creating a barrier," she said when asked by WTTW.
Pfizer doled out thousands of dollars to medical and civil rights groups, doctors, and public health organizations supporting government-backed COVID-19 vaccine mandates, according to a lengthy list of contributions from fiscal year 2021.
Biden issued an executive order in September 2021 requiring vaccinations for all executive branch agency employees, with exceptions for medical and religious reasons. The requirement kicked in the following November. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown, who was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of Texas by former President Donald Trump, issued a nationwide injunction against the requirement the following January.
Critics at the time said such mandates made no exception for natural immunity. Some said vaccinating during a pandemic could also cause evolutionary pressures on the COVID-19 virus, which could result in resistance to vaccines or an increase in the virus's lethality. The latter point was espoused at the time by vaccine researcher Geert Vanden Bossche.
A BBC fact check of Vanden Bossche's claim was deemed "false" with multiple vaccine experts saying large scale vaccinations were more likely to weaken the COVID-19 virus, not cause it to mutate to to a morte lethal variant.
Pfizer in 2021 raked in over $36.7 billion in sales from the vaccine, making it one of the most profitable medical products in history.
Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, an expert in bioethics, said Pfizer engaged in a "form of market manipulation by pushing mandates using organizations that present themselves as scientifically credible, or acting in the public interest, while creating by force a market for the company’s products."
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