The chief executives of Moderna and Pfizer have reportedly declined Donald Trump’s invitation to the White House vaccine summit.
As reported by STAT, both Stéphane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, and Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, turned down the President’s invitation to appear in Washington for the Tuesday vaccine summit.
According to a Trump administration official, they were planning on having both pharmaceutical leaders present at the vaccine summit as the plan for the event began to form.
However, they allegedly decided it would be better to include FDA’s Dr.Peter Marks, the leader of the division overseeing vaccine approvals.
“We were in discussions with them in the planning process for participation, ultimately the determination was when we had Dr Peter Marks of the FDA participating, there was a change in direction in light of the fact that we have the regulator participating in the event, it was more appropriate not to have one or more vaccine companies with pending applications before the FDA also participating in that event,” the official reportedly said.
The Tuesday summit, during which Trump is expected to take credit for the vaccines’ swift development, follows weeks of heat between the president and Pfizer.
Back on November 9, Trump was left furious after Pfizer announced that their vaccine is 95% effective just days after Joe Biden was declared the president-elect by major networks.
“As I have long said, @Pfizer and the others would only announce a Vaccine after the Election, because they didn’t have the courage to do it before,” Trump tweeted following the announcement.
“Likewise, the @US_FDA should have announced it earlier, not for political purposes, but for saving lives! The @US_FDA and the Democrats didn’t want to have me get a Vaccine WIN, prior to the election, so instead it came out five days later — As I’ve said all along!”
On the following day, on November 10, Pfizer executive Kathrin Jansen appeared to make an attempt to distance the company from Trump’s administration and their Operation Warp Speed as she told the New York Times that Pfizer was never a part of the OWS because “we have never taken any money from the U.S. government.”
While the company didn’t resort to federal funding for the development of their vaccine, Pfizer reportedly agreed to a purchase order worth $1.95 billion with the US government.
Defending the company’s decision to keep their hands away from the federal dollars, CEO Albert Bourla said they wanted to “keep Pfizer out of politics” and “liberate our scientists from any bureaucracy.”