Kobach files suit against Pfizer over Covid vaccine

TOPEKA – Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach is suing Pfizer for what Kobach caims were misleading claims it made related to the COVID vaccine.

“Pfizer made multiple misleading statements to deceive the public about its vaccine at a time when Americans needed the truth,” Kobach said at a press conference Monday.

According to the complaint, filed in Thomas County District Court, Pfizer misled Kansans about the vaccines’ risks, including to pregnant women and for myocarditis.  Additionally, Pfizer claimed its vaccine protected against COVID variants, despite data showing otherwise. The pharmaceutical giant also suggested its vaccine prevented COVID transmission, but later admitted it had never studied whether its vaccine stopped transmission.

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach

The complaint also alleges that Pfizer coordinated with social media officials to censor speech critical of COVID-19 vaccines and declined to participate in the federal government’s vaccine development program, Operation Warp Speed, to avoid government oversight.

“Unlike the other companies involved in the race for a vaccine, Pfizer did not join Operation Warp Speed and declined its vaccine development funding,” the complaint alleges, quoting Pfizer’s senior ice presdient and head of vaccine research and development Phillip Bump. “We were never part of the Warp Speed.”

    The suit maintains Pfizer’s Chairman and CEO Dr. Bourla, a veterinarian by training, reported that Pfizer declined government funding in order to “liberate” Pfizer’s scientists from government oversight of its vaccine development: “But the reason why I did it was because I wanted to liberate our scientists from any bureaucracy. When you get money from someone that always comes with strings. They want to see how we are going to progress, what type of moves you are going to do. They want reports. I didn’t want to have any of that,” Bourla was quoted a saying.

    Kobach maintans Pfizer’s independence from Operation Warp Speed allowed it to demand a “tailormade contract” that let Pfizer “retain almost all of its intellectual property rights and forgo the
    taxpayer protection clauses found in most government contracts that fund inventions.”

    The full complaint can be found here.

    In a statement to the Informer, Pfizer said it was proud to have developed its vaccine in record time and beleived it saved lives.

    “The representations made by Pfizer about its COVID-19 vaccine have been accurate and science-based. The Company believes that the (Kansas) state’s case has no merit and will respond to the suit in due course.

    “Pfizer is deeply committed to the well-being of the patients it serves and has no higher priority than ensuring the safety and effectiveness of its treatments and vaccines. Since its initial authorization by FDA in December 2020, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to more than 1.5 billion people, demonstrated a favorable safety profile in all age groups, and helped protect against severe COVID-19 outcomes, including hospitalization and death.

    “Patient safety is our number one priority, which is why we follow diligent safety and monitoring protocols,” the company said/.

      Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.