On August 27, 2021, Dr. Scott Gottlieb – a Pfizer director with over 550,000 Twitter followers – saw a tweet he didn’t like, a tweet that might hurt sales of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccines.
The tweet explained correctly that natural immunity after Covid infection was superior to vaccine protection. It called on the White House to “follow the science” and exempt people with natural immunity from upcoming vaccine mandates.
It came not from an “anti-vaxxer” like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., but from Dr. Brett Giroir, a physician who had briefly followed Gottlieb as the head of the Food & Drug Administration. Further, the tweet actually encouraged people who did not have natural immunity to “Get vaccinated!”
By suggesting some people might not need Covid vaccinations, the tweet could raise questions about the shots. Besides being former FDA commissioner, a CNBC contributor, and a prominent voice on Covid public policy, Gottlieb was a senior board member at Pfizer, which depended on mRNA jabs for almost half its $81 billion in sales in 2021. Pfizer paid Gottlieb $365,000 for his work that year.
Gottlieb stepped in, emailing Todd O’Boyle, a top lobbyist in Twitter’s Washington office who was also Twitter’s point of contact with the White House.
The post was “corrosive,” Gottlieb wrote. He worried it would “end up going viral and driving news coverage.”