Former FDA chief on Pfizer's board gets successor censored for praising natural immunity: report

Scott Gottlieb's Pfizer relationship was reportedly not disclosed to Twitter in considering how to treat Brett Giroir's tweet.
Vice President Mike Pence, joined by Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir, takes questions from reporters during a coronavirus update briefing Monday, April 6, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.

A former FDA commissioner who now sits on Pfizer's board successfully throttled a tweet by his interim successor, who claimed that natural immunity is "superior" to COVID vaccine-induced immunity by "A LOT" and that there was no "scientific justification" to require proof of vaccination. 

The revelation came via the "Twitter Files," made available by new owner Elon Musk selecting journalists, in this case former New York Times drug industry reporter Alex Berenson.

Scott Gottlieb, who joined Pfizer's board after leaving the FDA, reported the Aug. 27, 2021 tweet by physician Brett Giroir to Todd Boyle, Twitter's White House liaison. Giroir served as acting commissioner for about a month in late 2019.

The natural immunity tweet is "corrosive" and "will end up going viral and driving news coverage," Gottlieb told Boyle, who forwarded the complaint to Twitter's team for VIP users and identified Gottlieb's FDA past but not his Pfizer present.

Twitter applied a still-remaining "misleading" label despite determining Giroir's tweet didn't violate misinformation rules, according to Berenson, who was also targeted by Gottlieb. The label prevents retweets, likes and comments, but not quote-tweets.

Boyle again left out Gottlieb's Pfizer role in forwarding an ultimately failed request to suppress a tweet by lockdown and COVID vaccine skeptic Justin Hart, Berenson reported. About two months before the FDA authorized Pfizer's vaccine for children ages 5-11, Hart called COVID "a viral pathogen with a child mortality rate of <>0%."

Gottlieb has a "sworn duty to Pfizer's bottom line," University of California San Francisco epidemiologist Vinay Prasad wrote in his newsletter Tuesday, criticizing both Gottlieb's method and claims. 

"The fact of the matter is: we do not have [randomized controlled trials] proving a reduction in severe disease [from vaccination] among those with prior infection," Prasad wrote. "As such, it is fair to debate the topic — even if you disagree with the tweet in question."

It is "troubling" to imagine a world "where former government officials who are currently working for companies could censor tweets that disparage a company's products, even when the disparagement is uncertain," Prasad said.