Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called people who spread misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines "criminals" who have cost "millions of lives."
Speaking with DC-based think tank Atlantic Council, the Pfizer executive said Tuesday there is "a very small" group of individuals that circulate vaccine misinformation "on purpose" to mislead vaccine hestitant patients.
"Those people are criminals," Bourla insisted to Atlantic Council CEO Frederick Kempe during a video interview. "They're not [just] bad people. They're criminals because they have literally cost millions of lives," the Pfizer head maintained.
As millions of eligible adults in the United States have yet to get the jab, Bourla said that life for many Americans can go "back to normal" once many more get vaccinated.
"The only thing that stands between the new way of life and the current way of life is, frankly, hesitancy to vaccinations," Bourla claimed.
According to a survey published Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than three-quarters of American adults either believe or aren't sure about at least one of eight false statements about COVID-19 or the vaccines.
Among the falsehoods are that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips, cause infertility, and change one's DNA, according to the survey's key findings.
Bourla joined the Atlantic Council to talk about his collaboration with BioNTech on the COVID-19 vaccine as well as his take on medical misinformation. He, along with BioNTech co-founders Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci, will receive the Atlantic Council's Distinguished Business Leadership Award on Wednesday.
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