When COVID-19 vaccines were first made available to the public, it was pretty clear why so many mainstream media outlets avoided reporting anything negative about them: advertising dollars. However, the motivations of some civil rights, consumer and other groups that claimed to be independent in supporting the vaccine and vaccine mandates was less obvious – at least initially.
Now, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that many of these groups were also on the receiving end of funding from top COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Pfizer.
Journalist Lee Fang recently identified a number of groups whose support of the rather questionable vaccine and vaccine mandates seems to have been motivated by the almighty dollar. The Chicago Urban League is a prime example. With Chicago debating whether to force employers to require workers to get the jab, the group’s president, Karen Freeman-Wilson, appeared on TV in August 2021 to downplay the very real concerns of many that these rules would cause disproportionate harm to black people.
She said: “The health and safety factor here far outweighs the concern about shutting people out or creating a barrier.”
However, Fang discovered that Pfizer gave the group a $100,000 grant for promoting “vaccine safety and effectiveness.” While the group does not hesitate to disclose its corporate donors, there is no mention of Pfizer’s support in its website’s “Partners” section, nor did Freeman-Wilson disclose the funding in her interview.
He pointed to a list of groups that received funding from Pfizer, many of whom never disclosed it while advocating for policies that would require workers to get jabbed.
In another example, the National Hispanic Medical Association embarked on a campaign of press releases and media placements to encourage those who employ essential workers to implement COVID-19 vaccine mandates, in addition to signing its name on joint statements supporting the Brandon administration’s controversial vaccine mandate. According to IRS filings, the group was given $30,000 from a vaccine industry lobby group known as BIO, which represents both Moderna and Pfizer.
Meanwhile, the Houston-based nonprofit The Immunization Partnership, which focuses on public health, embarked on a public lobbying campaign against legislation in Texas that would block vaccine mandates for municipal workers as well as vaccine passports. They said that these bills would “erode the vital role of our state’s public health and medical experts in combating this pandemic.” Of course, this is not a surprising stance from a group that was given $35,000 from Pfizer around the same time for “legislative advocacy.”
In August 2021, the longstanding corporate watchdog group the National Consumers League announced its support for employer and government COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Around the same time, they received $75,000 from Pfizer for what they termed “vaccine policy efforts.”
The group is partly led by NCL board member Andrea LaRue, who also worked as a paid contract lobbyist for Pfizer.
These types of pushes are clearly a conflict of interest, as noted by former New Civil Liberties Alliance attorney Jenin Tounes, who told Fang: “If people or institutions advocated for or implemented mandates, while failing to disclose ties to the vaccine companies, that is a serious ethical violation, and potentially even unlawful, and should be thoroughly investigated.”
Big Pharma lobbied social media platforms to censor push for generic vaccines
We also know that the pharmaceutical industry heavily lobbied social media companies to censor people who used their platforms to push for low-cost generic vaccines for disadvantaged counties.
BioNTech, Pfizer’s partner in developing its COVID-19 vaccine, asked Twitter to directly censor users who tweeted at them inquiring about the possibility of generic, low-cost vaccines.
All of Pfizer’s lobbying efforts paid off; they made more than $36.7 billion in revenue from their vaccine in 2021 alone. The profits continue to pour in, due in no small part to mandates supported by groups paid off by Pfizer that are forcing countless individuals to get a risky shot that does not offer protection from catching or spreading the virus.
Sources for this article include: