Twitter Files: Show That Big Pharma Was Pressuring Twitter

Twitter was ordered to remove content referencing the COVID-19 virus by governments throughout the globe, not only the one led by Joe Biden. According to the recent release of the Twitter Files, Germany tried the same thing in tandem with BioNTech, a pharmaceutical behemoth responsible for the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

On Monday, Lee Fang of the Intercept released the newest installment of the Twitter Files, highlighting how the pharmaceutical industry pressured social media to create information about the COVID vaccination.

Fang zeroed in on the emails sent and received by Nina Morschhaeuser, a Twitter lobbyist based in Europe. There was evident pressure from Pfizer partner BioNTech to suppress campaigners demanding low-cost generic vaccinations for low-income countries, Fang wrote.

Consequently, according to Fang, the urgency of innovation in the face of the epidemic was evident by 2020. An early effort sought to ensure that everyone would benefit from the answer, proposing a global alliance to fast-track a cure by pooling resources and knowledge.

According to a report by Fang from December 2020, Morschhaeuser stated that BioNTech and the German government had informed her of an anticipated web campaign against pharmaceutical firms researching COVID-19 vaccines. A BioNTech spokesman requested that Twitter conceal the accounts of selected activists for two days before the planned campaign’s start.

According to Morschhaeuser, the authorities were concerned that employees’ personal accounts at vaccine manufacturers may be taken over and used to spread content violating Twitter’s rules of service. From what Fang has heard, Twitter appears to have done nothing in response to BioNTech’s request.

However, multinational pharmaceutical corporations saw the emergency as a chance for record profits. Pharma secretly began a lobbying campaign to stymie any move to pool patents/IP for novel covid-related drugs, such as treatments and vaccines; Fang stated in his Tweets. Biotech lobby group BIO, including Moderna & Pfizer, wrote to the then freshly elected Biden admin, requesting that the U.S. government penalize any countries seeking to infringe patent rights and develop generic low-cost covid medication or vaccines.

Fang disclosed the reason the corporation made the request. According to Fang, the pharmaceutical business was reluctant to provide confidential information that might pave the way to the creation of low-cost generic vaccinations. According to Fang, the initiation of an international effort pushing the drug industry to share intellectual property and patents related to the COVID-19 vaccines was the campaign BioNTech dreaded so much. Fang describes the onslaught of generic alternatives. 

Fang published the tax records showing that BIO contributed over $1.3 million to a campaign called “Stronger,” which helped Twitter create content moderation bots to help with crowdsource takedowns. With the release of their COVID-19 vaccinations, several drugmakers saw record earnings. A shared mRNA vaccine generated $37 billion in revenue for Pfizer and BioNTech in 2021, and the total cost of Moderna came to $17.7 billion.

According to Fang, the United States, the United Kingdom, and other wealthier nations received the bulk of the vaccine supplies, while poorer countries had to wait, often for more than a year, to receive what was left.