EU’s von Der Leyen Can’t Find Texts With Pfizer Chief on Vaccine Deal: Letter

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BRUSSELS—European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen is nary longer successful possession of substance messages that she exchanged with Pfizer main Albert Bourla to seal a COVID-19 vaccine deal, the Commission said successful a missive published connected Wednesday.

In an interrogation successful April 2021, von der Leyen revealed she had exchanged texts with Bourla for a period erstwhile they were negotiating a monolithic vaccine contract.

But successful effect to a nationalist entree petition by a writer due to the fact that of the value of the deal, the Commission did not stock the texts, triggering accusations of maladministration by the EU’s ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly.

“The Commission tin corroborate that the hunt undertaken by the President’s furniture for applicable substance messages corresponding to the petition for entree to documents has not yielded immoderate results,” the EU justness commissioner Vera Jourova said successful the missive to the ombudsman, an EU watchdog.

In the letter, the Commission argues that substance messages bash not request to beryllium registered and stored due to the fact that they are treated arsenic “short-lived, ephemeral documents”. The aforesaid objection to the wide registration request applies to documents with nary important information, the missive said.

A spokesperson for the ombudsman said that it planned to people a elaborate investigation connected the substance successful the adjacent mates of weeks.

The deal, negotiated via substance messages and calls, according to what von der Leyen herself said successful her interrogation with the New York Times, was the biggest declaration ever sealed for COVID-19 vaccines, with the EU committing to bargain 900 cardinal Pfizer-BioNTech, shots, with an enactment to bargain different 900 million.

When the woody was formally announced successful May 2021, the EU had already secured hundreds of millions of vaccines from respective drugmakers, including different 600 cardinal doses from Pfizer and BioNTech nether 2 erstwhile contracts with the 2 companies.

The woody was backed by each EU governments but was aboriginal called into question by immoderate of them who are present trying to renegotiate oregon chopped supplies from Pfizer and different vaccine makers amid a slump successful vaccination and increasing risks of wastage.