Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla announced on Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is receiving Paxlovid, the same Pfizer treatment Joe Biden and NIAID Director Anthony Fauci took when they tested positive for COVID earlier this summer. Both Biden and Fauci tested positive again 10 and 14 days later respectively.
In a statement, Bourla said he is experiencing only mild symptoms, and is thankful to have received four doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
“I would like to let you know that I have tested positive for #COVID19. I am thankful to have received four doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and I am feeling well while experiencing very mild symptoms,” he tweeted. “I am isolating and have started a course of Paxlovid.”
“We have come so far in our efforts to battle this disease that I am confident I will have a speedy recovery. I am incredibly grateful for the tireless efforts of my Pfizer colleagues who worked to make vaccines and treatments available for me and people around the world,” Bourla continued.
Bourla’s statement was met with a great deal of mockery and derision on Twitter.
I had to stop the montage for two reasons: 1) Any more images and the print would be illegibly small, and 2) I felt like I was going crazy at the absolute idiocy and insanity of the world in which we are currently living. Who drafted these syndicated responses? pic.twitter.com/xlICNJQRFP
— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) August 15, 2022
— Kangmin Lee ✞ (@kangminjlee) August 15, 2022
Wow who could’ve seen this one coming?!? pic.twitter.com/05XXXKutOo
— Deep Squats, Shallow Thoughts (@wolfstrength) August 15, 2022
Maybe when he catches covid again this fall/winter after five vaccines to stop it, he will remember to say the Covid Prayer correctly. "I have Covid. My symptoms are mild and I am doing fine. I am thankful for the protection my vaccinations have given me. Get vaccinated. Amen."
— Kenneth 老百姓 Rapoza (@BRICbreaker) August 15, 2022
I received zero doses and also had a very mild case – I have this blessed thing called an immune system. It worked just fine without your useless garbage. Get well soon and get ready for your rebound case about 5-6 days after those useless pills too.
— Ultra South Florida Trophy Wife™ 🦈🌴🐊🦩 (@Pickledfins) August 15, 2022
Bourla in April of 2021 claimed that Pfizer’s Phase 3 study for its mRNA shots was 100 percent effective.
— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) August 15, 2022
In his statement, the Pfizer CEO took the opportunity to tout Paxlovid, the treatment made by his company.
“Paxlovid is not approved, but is authorized for emergency use by the FDA to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in high-risk patients 12+, weighing at least 40 kg, with positive results of SARS-CoV-2 viral testing,” he tweeted, linking to Pfizer’s “safety info” on the drug.
Paxlovid is the combination of two antiviral drugs, nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, a “highly hepatotoxic” (injures the liver) HIV medication.
“High risk” patients are defined as those with underlying conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and obesity, or are 65 or older. As Bourla is only 60 years old and claims to have only mild symptoms, it wasn’t immediately clear why he was considered “high risk.”
In many vaccinated patients stricken with the Omicron variants, a course of Paxlovid appears to be leading to a temporary pause in symptoms, and then a resurgence of viral replication and symptoms a week or two later.
Both Biden and Fauci suffered rebounds after taking the drug—in Fauci’s case, the rebound was more severe than his initial case of COVID.
He said in an interview in June that rebounds are becoming “more and more typical, the more clinical experience we get.”
“It’s what people are referring to as a Paxlovid rebound,” he said, adding that he felt “really poorly, much worse than in the first go around.”
Quadruple vaxxed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also announced on Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, and is experiencing mild symptoms. In a statement, Austin, 69, said he is fully vaccinated and has received two boosters.
This is the second time the general has tested positive for the virus.
Austin got his first booster in October of 2021, and contracted COVID in January 2022. It wasn’t immediately clear when he got his second booster shot, but he got COVID again today.
“Now, as in January, my doctor told me that my fully vaccinated status, including two booster shots, is why my symptoms are less severe than would otherwise be the case,” Austin said. “I will continue to consult closely with my doctor in the coming days.”
He added, “Vaccinations continue to both slow the spread of COVID-19 and to make its health effects less severe. Vaccination remains a medical requirement for our workforce, and I continue to encourage everyone to get fully vaccinated and boosted.”
Austin said his last in-person contact with Joe Biden was on July 29, when Biden was still battling his COVID rebound case.
The Defense Sec. said he’ll quarantine at home for the next five days in accordance with CDC guidelines and “will retain all authorities and plan to maintain my normal work schedule virtually from home.”