Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on Tuesday that professionals who deliberately spread misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines are “criminals.”
In an interview with think tank Atlantic Council, Bourla said the world has become divided into two groups: those who are vaccinated and those who are not. Both groups, he said, are motivated by fear – vaccinated people are afraid of contracting COVID-19 and unvaccinated people are “skeptical” of the vaccine and “crazy that people push them to get it. The ones I understand. They are very good people, honest people.
But Bourla has less empathy or understanding for what he says is the “small” number of people who have knowingly disseminated misinformation. These people cannot be called bad people, he said, adding: “They are criminals. They literally cost millions of lives.
The interview was broadcast live online and the replay is available to watch.
Bourla’s comments come after a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Vaccine Monitor – an ongoing assessment of Americans’ attitudes toward vaccines – revealed a widespread belief in pandemic misinformation.
More than three-quarters, 78%, of adults surveyed believed or weren’t sure of at least one of eight incorrect statements related to vaccines or the pandemic.
Unsurprisingly, the results broke with party lines, with unvaccinated adults and Republicans more likely to believe the incorrect information. Last month’s Vaccine Monitor showed that 39% of Republican voters are still unvaccinated, compared to 10% of Democrats.
The Biden administration has said that tackling the rapid spread of disinformation is one of the biggest obstacles to ending the pandemic.
Also in the news:
►Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, in an interview with CBS “Face the Nation” on Monday, said that given the widespread availability of vaccines and improved treatment for COVID-19, “he there should be no need for distance or hybrid learning ”.
►NFL fined Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers for violating COVID-19 protocols. The league conducted a review of Rodgers and Packers’ protocol-related activities after the quarterback tested positive for COVID last week.
The numbers of the day: The United States has recorded more than 46.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 757,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: Over 250.7 million cases and 5 million deaths. More than 194.1 million Americans – 58.5% of the population – are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
?? What we read: Are you vaxxed? Some families face strong divisions over jabs.
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GOP wants Kansas to oppose vaccine mandates this month
Kansas Republican lawmakers are pushing to enact new state laws before Thanksgiving to financially protect workers if they refuse to comply with federal mandates to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Key GOP legislative leaders on Tuesday called on lawmakers to hold a special session to consider proposals to make it easier for workers to seek religious exemptions from vaccination warrants and to provide unemployment benefits to workers made redundant for refusing to do so. vaccinate. Both proposals emerged from a legislative committee meeting on Tuesday and come in response to vaccine mandates announced in September by President Joe Biden.
Democratic Governor Laura Kelly went public last week on her opposition to the Democratic president’s terms, but she also said she didn’t think a special session was warranted. Lawmakers can force one if two-thirds of them sign a petition, and Republicans have large enough majorities.
Lawmakers have adjourned for the year in May and are not expected to meet until January.
– Associated press
NFL clarifies COVID protocols after Aaron Rodgers ordeal
The NFL and NFLPA agreed to change COVID-19 protocols and informed teams in a memo on Tuesday, but there were no changes to the requirements for mask use for unvaccinated players.
Instead, the memo included a reminder that these players are required to adhere to these requirements in all cases inside the facilities.
“Clubs are reminded that anyone who is not fully vaccinated is required to wear a mask at all times inside club facilities. This includes media interviews or attending press briefings held indoors, either at club premises or at the stadium on match day, ”the memo reads.
He added: “People who are not fully vaccinated can conduct media interviews outside or in the training bubble without wearing a mask, as long as the physical distance is maintained at all times.”
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ lack of use of the mask at press conferences made it a new topic of review last week after testing positive for COVID-19.
– Mike Jones