Pfizer CEO Credits Netanyahu with Quick Delivery of Vaccines

YERUSHALAYIM -
A coronavirus vaccination center in Bnei Brak, Israel. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

In an interview worth millions in campaign ads, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on Thursday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ convinced him to select Israel for the company’s first major real-life trial.

Bourla told Channel 12 that Netanyahu was determined, that he “called me 30 times” on the vaccines.

“We knew that it is very appropriate for humanity to be able to select one country that we can demonstrate what the vaccination can do for the health index, for the health of the people, and to the economic index, because they would be able to reopen the economy. And of course, I was talking with several heads of state. I spoke to your prime minister. He convinced me that Israel is the place with the right conditions. But also I was impressed frankly with the obsession of your prime minister. He called me 30 times.”

However, Bourla, undoubtedly aware of the upcoming elections in Israel, promised that he is committed to “supply vaccines whoever is the prime minister.”

Meanwhile, health officials sounded unusually upbeat, telling Channel 13 the situation is “the most hopeful it’s been since the beginning of the pandemic.”

If the positive trajectory continues, Israelis will be able to celebrate Pesach without restrictions.

Rormer coronavirus commissioner Prof. Ronni Gamzu told Channel 13 that “the coronavirus as a pandemic is behind us,” echoing similar remarks made by Netanyahu earlier this week.

There might yet be sporadic upturns in coronavirus, but the situation should be under control, he said.

Contrary to Health Minister director-general Chevy Levy on Thursday, who advised an extension of the travel restrictions at Ben Gurion, Gamzu said he believe it is now safe to reopen the airport.