Liar rejected Pfizer, delivered recession

Not new but some texture around the Liar’s fantastic vaccine ineptitude:

New emails reveal how “enthusiastic” Pfizer was to engage with Australia about its COVID-19 vaccine, months before the federal government agreed to buy any doses.

Doses were in limited supply during the deadly outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales this year.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is now central to the nation’s effort to combat the virus, despite Australia being slower than other nations in purchasing the jab.

Documents obtained by 7.30 under freedom of information (FOI) laws shed new light on the drug company and the government’s dealings at a critical time for negotiations last year.

In early July 2020, Pfizer Australia emailed the office of Health Minister Greg Hunt with “some positive early data” from early-stage trials.

“Efforts to manufacture the leading candidates … are gearing up,” they wrote.

“My global colleagues are enthusiastic to discuss this further, and possible opportunities in Australia, at a senior level at the earliest opportunity.”

Someone in the minister’s office forwarded this email to the head of the Health Department’s vaccine taskforce, Lisa Schofield, adding only: “FYI.”

Days earlier, Pfizer Australia’s boss Anne Harris wrote to Mr Hunt to begin formal talks and request a meeting about COVID-19 vaccines.

“We have the potential to supply millions of vaccine doses by the end of 2020 … then rapidly scale up to produce hundreds of millions of doses in 2021,” Ms Harris wrote, in correspondence previously released.

“[A colleague] will be in touch to schedule a meeting. I look forward to meeting you and working with you into the future.”

Ms Harris’s letter was contained in an email from a Pfizer colleague, which asked for “this meeting occur at the earliest opportunity”.

“The vaccine development landscape is moving swiftly, including through engagements with other nations.

“I am able to make senior members of Pfizer’s global leadership team available for this discussion, particularly if the minister and/or departmental leadership can be involved.”

Two days after receiving the letter, which has previously been released under FOI, someone in the minister’s office forwarded the letter to the head of the department’s vaccine taskforce.

“FYI — will leave it to you on this one,” the person wrote in a newly released email.

Nations began announcing vaccine deals with Pfizer later in July 2020, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

Australia announced an initial agreement with Pfizer in November, purchasing 10 million doses to be delivered “from early to mid-2021”.

The government indicated at the time that Pfizer’s vaccine would be used to supplement AstraZeneca supplies.

Australia has subsequently ordered millions more Pfizer shots.

In a statement, the Health Minister’s office said it had participated in 10 meetings with Pfizer between July and October.

Mr Hunt personally attended a meeting with Pfizer a week before the November agreement.

A spokeswoman said the government struck an agreement with Pfizer “as soon as possible” and that “no earlier doses were available to Australia”.

More obvious lies. Pfizer was clearly campaigning hard to give it to Australia earlier than November, just as it did other developed markets like Israel, Canada, Saudi Arabia, UK and US.  But the Liar was busy doing his sweetheart deal with ex-Liberal staffers at Astra Zeneca instead:

The rest is history. The Liar’s vaccine sweetheart procurement strategy made the program too narrow. When strife hit AZ there was no fallback and the vaccine program all but collapsed.

The Liar’s failure to centralise quarantine in remote areas then invited Delta through the borders and south-eastern Australia re-entered lockdown and recession, costing the nation scores of billions, lives and social unrest.

These blunders are the single worst policy failure in modern Australian history.

Houses and Holes
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  1. happy valleyMEMBER

    “These blunders are the single worst policy failure in modern Australian history.”

    But there are more since the LNP came to power in 2013 eg the submarines debacle.

  2. working class hamMEMBER

    “After serious debate, Jen and the girls convinced me, Pfizer was the the real prophet and mid 2021 was the optimum time for Australia to procure it.” -SFM.

  3. Recession for the most people, but his mates Gerry Harvey and Soloman Lew made out like bandits.with JobKeeper. So it’s all good.

    • Jumping jack flash


      Oh, and don’t forget that everyone’s houses went up in price.
      Even my humble house went up in price by around 20 to 50% if the sale of the house across the road is anything to go by, and it surely is! I’m now rich beyond my wildest fantasies, of course.

      Now… I just need to work out how this famous “wealth effect” everyone goes on about can enable me to pay all my bills and have enough left over to visit Uncle Dan’s on the weekend…

    • Ailart SuaMEMBER

      You get the feeling the faeces is edging closer to the fan. Something’s putting the wind up all these politicians who’ve been announcing their resignations recently. Ever wondered why it’s not mandatory for federal politicians to be injected with the gene therapy medicines.

      • Exactly. Lol constitutionally protected, remember when us peasants were as well ?

        Even giving exemptions to their crony mates heading the police

  4. Jumping jack flash

    How about we turn some attention to the absolute meal he made of the stimulus?
    A stimulus that is going to prove to have been absolutely vital to position Australia correctly to ride out the coming global inflation wave. That part was completely obvious to anyone who bothered to look long ago, but Scomo has no clue, nor needs one.

    Nevertheless, all his vaccine mistakes could have been papered over with an effective stimulus.
    Nobody would have cared what he did or didn’t do with regards to COVID when they’ve got their pockets full of free government money to spend. I mean, Howard proved that beyond a doubt. Its not like Scomo had to look back through the pages of history too far to see what he should have done in this situation. It was handed to him on a platter.

    Alas no. True to form, Scomo’s “stimulus” was a thinly veiled cash handout to his business mates, and a bit of house price inflation. Other than that it didn’t come anywhere close to providing stimulation to anything of any real consequence.

    • Yep – no lasting benefit to be seen.

      At least Rudd gave us a new school hall FOR EVERY SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY for about 15th of the cost.

      So many missed opportunities.

    • The thing is.. when something works to solve a problem, it can look like it was not necessary.
      My business provides outsourced marketing services to businesses.
      I can tell you with no doubt in my mind that my clients were preparing to slash their workforces, and cut all their advertising prior to the stimulus. Because of the stimulus though, they kept the staff on, and then because others hadn’t lost their jobs, and overall money in the economy was boosted, the majority banked increased sales, which allowed them to keep everyone on, and even go looking for new hires.

      This isn’t me speaking to one business, but my ‘book’.
      If they had followed their intentions and instincts, unemployment would have skyrocketed, and there would have been no sales boom, it would have been a negative reinforcement cycle instead of a positive cycle.

      Design of the scheme can be debated, and size and waste.. but it did meet its intended purpose.
      If it had of excluded the “big end of town” then there would not have been the boost described above, as unemployment would have risen. You’d have been in the negative cycle.

      Stimulate with a firehose, and it makes it look like the stimulus was unnecessary.
      Stimulate with a garden tap and the economy would have cratered.

      Almost no one plans with a full appreciation of all possible “what if” situations.
      In this case, what if the economy booms rather than craters.

      Another one is “what if” the Pfizer vaccine turns out to have serious long-term health consequences.
      Not really factored into the decision making is it.

  5. Scomo caused my relationship to break down due to prolonged lockdowns. I like the sound of that.

  6. happy valleyMEMBER

    Had to RALOL when I read in the SMH today about LP Senator Sarah Henderson (ex ABC) criticising the ABC for having 50 lawyers on staff and needing to manage taxpayers’ money respectfully and prudently. And this coming from a member of the party that has sports rorts, community grants rorts and carparks rorts as just a few of its profligate misuses of taxpayers’ money. Seriously – the LNP’s hypocrisy knows no bounds?

    • Maybe if LNP pollies and lackeys like Chris Kenny stopped suing for defamation as part of a get rich quick scheme.

  7. It is unreasonable to criticise Morrison on this basis.

    1. Pfizer was a greater unknown, due to its mRNA nature, than other options
    2. It was more expensive than other options
    3. We could locally produce other options
    4. Given Australia’s low rates of infection, and “Island fortress” status, the need was not great enough to throw the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE in the bin

    He did the right thing. Australia’s record with covid is the absolute envy of the world, particularly when it comes to nations of similar demographics. What IF it turned out Pfizer gamed its trails, and it turned into a “killer jab”, would you be singing the same tune? You cannot say that at the time Morrison was making his decisions that was not a possibility. Or if Astra-Zeneca turned out to be twice as effective at one quarter the cost?

    LEADERS have to contemplate more than just reacting with fear levels pushed up to 10.
    The fact Australia sailed through as good as any nation in the world, is testament that it wasn’t the wrong decision.

    And it would not have prevented lockdowns or other restrictions either, given the vaccine does not stop transmission or infection, just inhibits both a touch, while affecting severity of infection, primarily in the over 60’s.

    Being the first cab off the rank for an experimental medical treatment, to be rolled out to the whole population, when they are NOT facing an imminent and catastrophic threat, is not good science or management… it is hysteria.

    • Anders Andersen

      Ex B.I.L is a medical researcher and said mRNA tech has been around for long time.

      SM went for Astrazenica because it was cheaper, nothing to do with unproven bs (btw, which one ended up the problem child? It wasn’t Pfizer), and in doing so he put all our eggs in one basket.

      • The tech has been around for a long-time, use of it in AUTHORISED vaccines has not.
        And he did not put all his eggs in one basket, Australia completed deals with multiple vaccine manufacturers.
        The proof the response was adequate (for the conditions) is the result.

        And also as for LNP “astroturfest” in every single election in my lifetime I have placed other candidates ahead of the LNP.
        Like Labor and the Greens, they do not support massive restrictions on immigration, thus there are always choices that should be put in front of them.