• Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said he had a “heated” debate with Jared Kushner over COVID-19 vaccine supplies.
  • Bourla told Kushner that the United States would have to wait its turn to get another 100 million doses.
  • Kushner disagreed, telling Bourla that he represented the US government, which could “take action” to enforce his will.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has revealed in a new Forbes op-ed that he and Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to former President Donald Trump, once had a “heated” debate over whether the United States had to receive its vaccine doses first. .

In the op-ed, Bourla said he and Kushner disagreed on the supply timeline for an additional 100 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine the Trump administration has ordered. Bourla wrote that the dispute arose because the United States was completing its initial order for 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, but other countries had already signed contracts with Pfizer to secure their vaccine doses.

At the start of the pandemic, Kushner led a shadow COVID-19 task force that a documentary later revealed consisted of young volunteers buying PPE with personal email accounts.

“Jared was asking for a very aggressive US delivery plan for the additional 100 million doses. He wanted it all in the second quarter of 2021,” Bourla wrote. “To do that, we would have had to source from Canada, Japan and Latin American countries, all of which had placed their orders earlier than the United States and were expecting the vaccine in the second quarter.”

Bourla said the “debate” between him and Kushner turned “heated” when he refused. The Pfizer CEO said he “reminds Jared” that it was made clear to Moncef Slaoui, the chief adviser to the Trump Operation Warp Speed ​​team’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, that Pfizer would not take no doses from other countries to give to the United States.

However, Bourla wrote that “Jared didn’t budge.”

“In his mind, America came first no matter what. In my mind, fairness had to come first,” Bourla wrote. “He reminded me that he represented the government and that he could ‘take action’ to enforce his will.”

Bourla wrote that he responded to Kushner, “Be my guest, Jared. I’d rather the Japanese Prime Minister complain about the cancellation of the Olympics than me.”

The CEO said the disagreement ended when Pfizer’s manufacturing team managed to pull through and deliver additional doses to the United States without cutting off supply to other countries.

“Jared called me two days later from Mar-a-Lago to thank me for the collaboration, and we came full circle on a happy note,” Bourla wrote.

The $1.95 billion deal for the additional 100 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine — enough to fully inoculate 50 million Americans — finally closed in December 2021.