• Nate Silver: 'Liberal =?ISO-8859-1?B?ZWxpdGVz g==?= pressured Pfizer to

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    Nate Silver claimed “liberal public health elites” pressured Pfizer to
    delay fast-track approval of its COVID-19 vaccine until after the 2020 presidential election — thus denying then-President Donald Trump a
    political win before voters headed to the polls.

    The number-crunching data journalist reacted to an article by Politico
    that cited a House report that claimed the Trump administration sought
    to expedite approvals for both vaccines and “unproven treatments” for

    “‘Trump pushed for vaccine approvals too fast’ is the worst possible
    critique of the Trump administration’s COVID policy,” Silver, founder
    of the Disney-owned FiveThirtyEight political news and analysis
    website, tweeted.

    “That probably saved a lot of lives. If anything approval should have
    been faster.”

    In a subsequent tweet, Silver wrote that “liberal public health elites”
    pushed Pfizer to “change its original protocols” that govern its
    authorization of vaccines so that the decision would be put off until
    after Election Day two years ago.

    Silver noted that Pfizer’s decision “had the convenient side-effect of
    delaying any vaccine announcement until after the election” and that
    the story “deserves more scrutiny.”

    The FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief said most public health officials
    “tend to be strong [Democratic] partisans” and that their push for
    Pfizer to take its time in announcing a vaccine “may have been
    politically motivated in whole or in part.”

    “It’s a story that deserves more reporting and I’ve done some poking
    around myself,” Silver tweeted.

    The Politico story that Silver linked to quotes several public health
    experts who criticized Pfizer for going too fast in seeking FDA
    authorization of its vaccine.

    The pharmaceutical giant was under intense pressure by the Trump
    administration and its allies to announce the success of its vaccine at clinical trials before Nov. 3, 2020.

    Six days after the election, Pfizer announced that its COVID vaccine
    was 90% effective.

    According to House Democrats probing the Trump administration’s
    response to the pandemic, White House officials demanded that the FDA
    authorize the use of an anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, to treat
    COVID — even though there was no research to support its use.

    Trump administration officials were also accused of pressuring the FDA
    to speed up its vaccine approval process in order to benefit the
    president politically. Trump officials have denied the claims.

    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
    — 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.
    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) August 24, 2022

    Trump has said that “Operation Warp Speed,” the government initiative
    to develop the COVID vaccines, saved some 100 million American lives.

    But he also lashed out at Pfizer, accusing the firm of playing “corrupt
    games” by timing the announcement of its vaccine in order to harm his re-election chances.

    The company has denied delaying the results for political reasons.

    Silver’s tweet suggesting that Trump’s suspicions of Pfizer could be
    justified raised eyebrows among some of his more than 3.5 million
    Twitter followers.

    “This is the kind of take I’d expect to find on Truth Social,” one
    Twitter user wrote, referencing the social media site founded by Trump
    after he was kicked off Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other
    platforms in the wake of the Capitol riots of Jan. 6, 2021.

    One Twitter user accused Silver of going “full MAGA conspiracy guy.”

    Let's go Brandon!

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