Pollster Nate Silver claimed via Twitter that “liberal public health elites” persuaded Pfizer to delay approval of its COVID vaccine until after the 2020 presidential election to help stop former President Trump from winning.
His accusation was in response to an article published by Politico that quoted a House report claiming the Trump administration sought to expedite approvals for both vaccines and “unproven treatments” for the virus.
“‘Trump pushed for vaccine approvals too fast’ is the worst possible critique of the Trump administration’s COVID policy. That probably saved a lot of lives. If anything approval should have been faster,” Silver, who is the founder of Disney-owned FiveThirtyEight, tweeted.
“Also, the late 2020 push from liberal public health elites that persuaded Pfizer to *change* its original protocols – and had the convenient side-effect of delaying any vaccine announcement until after the election – deserves more scrutiny,” he charged.
Also, the late 2020 push from liberal public health elites that persuaded Pfizer to *change* its original protocols – and had the convenient side-effect of delaying any vaccine announcement until after the election – deserves more scrutiny.https://t.co/1v3ueTNqur
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) August 24, 2022
“I don’t know for sure but yes the implication is that it may have been politically motivated in whole or in part. Especially given the people making the push, who tend to be strong D partisans. It’s a story that deserves more reporting and I’ve done some poking around myself,” he added in a follow-up tweet, answering Turning Points Memo founder Josh Marshall who was skeptical of his viewpoint.
I don't know for sure but yes the implication is that it may have been politically motivated in whole or in part. Especially given the people making the push, who tend to be strong D partisans. It's a story that deserves more reporting and I've done some poking around myself.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) August 24, 2022
He also told Marshall, “I’m not going to share incomplete reporting but if your prior is that public health elites aren’t capable of behaving in a partisan way, particularly the exact public health elites who were engaged in the push with Pfizer, I’m not sure it’s worth us having this conversation.”
The Politico piece quoted a number of public health experts who criticized Pfizer for moving too fast in seeking FDA authorization for its vaccine.
Trump reportedly put a lot of pressure on Pfizer to announce the success of its vaccine in clinical trials before Nov. 3, 2020. However, the pharmaceutical giant did not announce its COVID vaccine was 90 percent effective until six days after the election according to the New York Post.
From the NY Times news section on November 1, 2020.
Democrats dreaded Pfizer announcing its vaccine worked before the election, vindicating Trump’s vaccine-centric covid strategy. Pfizer shut down its trial from late October until the day after the election. pic.twitter.com/kLQYc5hdG0
— Steve Sailer (@Steve_Sailer) August 26, 2022
Democrats are now flipping the pandemic rhetoric from President Biden taking all the credit for the vaccine, to investigating Trump’s response to the virus.
Trump has claimed that “Operation Warp Speed,” his initiative to develop the COVID vaccines, saved more than 100 million American lives.
At the time, he blasted Pfizer for playing “corrupt games” by timing the announcement of a vaccine so it would hurt his re-election chances. Pfizer denied doing so.
Silver’s tweet indicates that Trump may have been right all along and surprised more than a few of his 3.5 million Twitter followers.
“This is the kind of take I’d expect to find on Truth Social,” one Twitter user wrote, voicing disappointment in Silver who appears to be a moderate Democrat.
One Twitter user accused the pollster of going “full MAGA conspiracy guy.”
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