Bourla was scheduled to testify before the European Parliament's COVID-19 committee on Oct. 10. The committee was meeting with key European officials and Big Pharma executives involved in the vaccine purchasing process. The committee's goal was to learn more about how to quickly purchase vaccines for future pandemics. Big Pharma CEOs who have participated in committee proceedings include Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel and senior executives from AstraZeneca and Sanofi. (Related: Romanian lawmaker GRILLS Big Pharma executives over lack of accountability for dangerous COVID-19 vaccines.)
However, Bourla backed out after an audit report into the European Union's vaccine procurement strategy was published in September. This raised new questions about Bourla's contacts with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. These conversations preceded a multibillion-euro vaccine contract.
Committee chair and Member of the European Parliament Kathleen Van Brempt of Belgium said in a statement that she "deeply regrets" Bourla's decision not to attend the Oct. 10 hearing. She noted that she was looking forward to her discussion with Bourla.
Bourla's cancellation comes just two weeks after the fully vaccinated and boosted Big Pharma CEO tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time. Janine Small, president of international development markets at Pfizer, will attend in his place. Pfizer said Small "has been identified as best placed to support the committee in meeting their objectives."
Bourla was expected to be interrogated and would have to address the scrutiny surrounding negotiations for the EU's third COVID-19 vaccine contract with Pfizer. This deal covered an initial 900 million vaccine doses for delivery in 2022 and 2023, with the possibility of increasing the purchase to a whopping 1.8 billion doses if necessary.
This is the single biggest COVID-19 contract signed by the European Commission. But the deal left the EU's Court of Auditors with some major concerns. The court found that Von Der Leyen had been directly involved in the preliminary negotiations, which were concluded in May 2021.
This is a departure from the regular negotiating procedure followed by other COVID-19 vaccine procurement contracts, where a joint negotiating team made up of officials from the European Commission and all 27 EU member countries known as the Vaccine Steering Board conducts exploratory talks with Big Pharma executives.
The steering board had planned a meeting with EU representatives and "national scientific advisors" to hammer out the continent's vaccine strategy for 2022. This meeting never happened because of Von Der Leyen's backdoor dealings with Bourla.
The Court of Auditors further noted that the European Commission is refusing to turn over records regarding the details of Von Der Leyen's personal discussions with Bourla and other Pfizer executives.
Just as concerning to the COVID-19 committee was a report that Von Der Leyen and Bourla had been exchanging text messages leading up to the commission agreeing to the EU's third COVID-19 vaccine contract with Pfizer. The audit court in its report urged the commission to search for the "relevant text messages" and "assess whether public access can be granted to them."
The New York Times reported that this seemingly close relationship between Bourla and Von Der Leyen had been going on for months in the run-up to the EU's COVID-19 vaccine deal with Pfizer.
More stories about Big Pharma corruption can be found at BigPharmaNews.com.
Watch this clip of athletes fully vaccinated with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine collapsing in the middle of their games, with many of them dying soon after.