This week, a video of remarks made by the CEO of Pfizer went viral on social media.
They have deleted THIS video? pic.twitter.com/rN1inCdsxo
— Ernst Stavro (@OliL73) January 11, 2022
Albert Bourla, whose company has made billions from producing the Covid-19 vaccine, was talking to Yahoo Finance about the Omicron wave and the effectiveness of vaccines and boosters. Cases of Omicron have surged in Ireland despite an adult vaccination rate of 94%. While the Department of Health has confirmed the country’s one-millionth case, Maynooth Professor of Immunology, Paul Moynagh, said “we have had half-a-million cases in the last eight weeks and most people will accept the reality is we have had a multiple of that.”
The Pfizer CEO addressed concerns about the waning effectiveness of the vaccines by saying that, at this juncture, “We know that the two doses of the vaccine offer very limited protection, if any.”
“The three doses – with a booster – they offer reasonable protection against hospitalizations and deaths – against deaths, I think very good. ” [They offer] less protection against infection,” he acknowledged.
The video racked up millions of views before a bizarre intervention by both Pfizer and Yahoo saw the video clip being removed. Bizarre, because the longer video showing the entire interview, which remains on You Tube, shows Bourla’s comments were not altered in any way.
The viral clip, however, was deemed to fall foul of a new concept in ‘fact-checking’ which the powers-that-be like to call ‘lacking context’, but which usually really seems to indicate that someone important to the establishment has said something embarrassing or revealing, and that evidence needs to be scrubbed.
Since the start of the pandemic, lots of supposed ‘fact-checkers’ have massively discredited themselves. Many seem less interested in facts than in setting out to silence anyone questioning the Covid lockdown. The revered British Medical Journal (BMJ), no less, was forced to publicly reprimand Facebook’s ‘fact-checkers’ last month, describing them as “incompetent, inaccurate, and irresponsible” after they tried to flag a BMJ article revealing poor clinical trial research at a Pfizer collaborate as, guess what, “missing context”.
Those who set themselves up as ‘fact-checkers’ also like to claim expertise in stopping ‘disinformation’ and dealing with ‘fake news’, though their focus often seems oddly narrow and strangely in lockstep with government, multinational corporations, and Big Pharma.
So platforms like Snopes tie themselves up in knots to give a ‘Mostly False’ rating to posts which accurately quoted Bourla’s own words on Twitter because they say sharing the video clip – unaltered in any way – didn’t make it clear that the Pfizer CEO was referring to the Omicron variant.
With respect, this is the height of bullshit.
All everyone is talking about right now is the Omicron variant. We had a solid month of headlines prophesying Omicron doom, without any fact-checks calling them out afterwards, can I add, when said doom never materialized. The vast majority – sometimes 95% – of new confirmed cases in the US, Ireland and pretty much everywhere are Omicron.
Everyone knows this. So either Snopes and Pfizer et al think people are morons, or they want a potentially embarrassing interview clip scrubbed.
Here in Ireland, Senator Sharon Keogan, a most welcome addition to the Seanad and a vocal critic of unthinking lockdowns, tweeted the Bourla clip and said: ‘”2 doses of the vaccine offers very limited protection”Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says. The world has been sold a lie.”
Enter Aoife Gallagher and the Institute of Strategic Dialogue (ISD), stage left.
Who are they, you might ask? The ISD is one of those outfits who have realized that there is a simply enormous amount of money to be made from talking up the danger of extremism and the “far-right”, and saying frankly cringy stuff like boasting about “online sleuthing skills”.
A look at their funders gives some insight into how much they might be expected to rock the boat.
Just as you’d expect (you mad conspiracy theorist) Bill Gates is listed, as is George Soros’s Open Society, and the EU Commission and various government departments, and of course Facebook, Google, and Microsoft amongst many others.
This is unlikely, then, to be an organization to stand up for the ordinary person against the elites – and the Irish branch of ISD does seem rather pre-occupied with labelling working-class people who are upset about lockdowns, or the impact of uncontrolled immigration, as undesirables.
Unlike the ISD, Senator Keogan, who is the first female Independent Councillor to be elected to the Seanad, is one of a rare breed in Irish politics: feisty, unafraid, and unapologetic about asking questions or speaking truth to power. She’s one of those ‘strong independent’ women the media likes to talk up, but only when said feisty women tick all the right boxes.
Ms Gallagher of the ISD took exception to Senator Keoghan’s tweet and decided to chastise her on Twitter, accusing her of sharing online manipulation and misinformation, and offering to make her aware that people in government “can be fooled by information online”. (Yes the smug arrogance is breathtaking, but the ISD are uncritically acclaimed by the media and the establishment and no doubt feel they can talk down to just about anyone.)
As noted above, you’d need to be living under a rock on a remote mountain not to know that every Covid conversation is now about Omicron. And in a free society, Senators and all free citizens, should need to check our opinions with a global, corporate-funded, outfit looking for bogeymen to justify their existence.
In response, Senator Koegan told Gript that it was obvious that the Pfizer CEO was talking about Omicron, and pointed to statements that had been made in the public square regarding the efficacy of the vaccines to prevent transmission. (US President Joe Biden, for example, said in July that “you’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations”)
Keogan says that people were, in effect, sold a lie when they were promised that if they took vaccines, life would get back to normal. Instead, she says, the Omicron surge was used to “put fear into people, a fear compounded by the media, resulting in elderly people spending Christmas Day alone.”
“I’ve never heard of Ms Gallagher or the Institute of Strategic Dialogue,” she said. “But I will continue to speak up for vulnerable people, and I won’t ever be afraid to ask questions without fear or favour, because that’s a crucial part of my job.”
The right to ask questions must never be curtailed by claims of ‘disinformation’. Therein lies the path to the rise of actual extremism.