- People who spread misinformation on Covid-19 vaccines are “criminals,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Tuesday.
- “They’re criminals because they have literally cost millions of lives,” he said.
- He said life for many people can go “back to normal” once many of the unvaccinated get vaccinated.
People who spread misinformation on Covid-19 vaccines are “criminals” and have cost “millions of lives,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Tuesday.
Speaking with Washington D.C.-based think tank Atlantic Council, Bourla said there is a “very small” group of people that purposefully circulate misinformation on the shots, misleading those who are already hesitant about getting vaccinated.
“Those people are criminals,” he told Atlantic Council CEO Frederick Kempe. “They’re not bad people. They’re criminals because they have literally cost millions of lives.”
Bourla’s comments come as millions of eligible adults in the U.S. have yet to get vaccinated even though the shots have been available to most Americans most of this year. Public health experts say misinformation is likely playing a large role.
According to a survey published Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than three-quarters of U.S. adults either believe or aren’t sure about at least one of eight false statements about Covid or the vaccines, with unvaccinated adults and Republicans among those most likely to hold misconceptions.
Among the falsehoods are that Covid vaccines contain microchips, cause infertility and change one’s DNA, according to the survey.
Bourla said Tuesday that life for many people can go “back to normal” once many of the unvaccinated get vaccinated.
“The only thing that stands between the new way of life and the current way of life is, frankly, hesitancy to vaccinations,” he said.
Greece imposes $114 monthly fine on unvaccinated people over 60
Residents in Greece over 60 years old will have to undergo mandatory vaccinations against coronavirus or face monthly 100-euro ($114) fines beginning next year, the prime minister announced Tuesday, declaring the country’s first general inoculation mandate.
The Greek government decided upon the measure in response to a surge in new daily infections and the emergence of the omicron variant. It will take effect on Jan. 16 and the fines will be added to tax bills, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised statement.
Greece’s overall COVID-19 death toll exceeded 18,000 this week with confirmed new infections at high levels. Roughly a quarter of the country’s adult population remains unvaccinated.
Vaccination mandates were introduced over the summer for health care workers and fire service rescuers in Greece, with those failing to comply being suspended from their jobs indefinitely without pay.
The government has ruled out imposing new lockdowns but says it is targeting the elderly with tougher restrictions to protect the public health service as ICU occupancy is near capacity nationwide.
“The new omicron variant is a concern for us and means we must be vigilant,” Mitsotakis said.
“Unfortunately, of the 580,000 unvaccinated of our fellow citizens over the age of 60, only 60,000 set up appointments to get vaccinated in November,” he said. “But it is mainly people over 60 who require hospital treatment and sadly lose their life. These deaths are unnecessary.”
The opposition left-wing Syriza party accused the center-right government of shifting the responsibility of battling the virus onto ordinary Greeks and “targeting people over 60 … with punitive and financially debilitating measures that haven’t been implemented anywhere else in the world.”
Doctor on OMICRON: “Looking at the the mildness of the symptoms, there is no reason for panicking, as we don’t see severely ill patients”
“The hype that’s been created out there in the media & worldwide doesn’t correlate with the clinical picture”
Fauci says ‘we’re going to have to start living with COVID’
“I don’t think we’re going to eradicate it.”
Chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci said in an interview that aired Sunday that he believes people will have to begin “living with COVID,” expressing doubt that the virus will be eradicated.
Speaking to host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Fauci touched on previous remarks in which he said he would like to see daily infections fall below 10,000 in order for the U.S. to be able to “live with COVID.” Brennan noted that current COVID-19 infection rates are now approaching 80,000 per day.
Fauci said this current infection level is “unacceptable.”
“I mean, we’ve heard people say, understandably, they’re trying to look for a metric to give to the public that we’re going to have to start living with COVID. I believe that’s the case because I don’t think we’re going to eradicate it. We’ve only eradicated one infection of mankind, and that’s smallpox. I don’t think we’re even going to eliminate it,” the infectious diseases expert said.
Fauci said illnesses such as malaria, polio and measles have become nearly nonexistent through “a very, very, very intensive vaccine campaign.”
Brennan also asked Fauci if the U.S. was currently experiencing a fifth wave of COVID-19 cases.
“Well, we certainly have the potential to go into a fifth wave. And the fifth wave, or the magnitude of any increase, if you want to call it that it, will turn into a wave, will really be dependent upon what we do in the next few weeks to a couple of months,” said Fauci.
He added that the millions of eligible U.S. residents who have not gotten vaccinated, compounded with those who are beginning to experience waning immunity from their initial doses, have resulted in a diminished level of community immunity.
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