You gotta be kidding, AstraZeneca. The British company apparently got the science right, but then royally screwed up the PR.
Seeking to regain much needed PR momentum following concerns raised in Europe that its COVID-19 vaccine caused blood clots, AstraZeneca issued a press release on March 22 saying its US trial showed its shot “demonstrated a statistically significant vaccine efficacy of 79 percent” at preventing the disease.”
Good news, indeed.
“We are preparing to submit these findings to the US Food and Drug Administration and for the rollout of millions of doses across America should the vaccine be granted US Emergency Use Authorization,” said Mene Pangalos, executive VP, biopharmaceuticals research at AstraZeneca.
Full speed ahead.
Not so fast, responded the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases via a post-midnight March 23 statement expressing concern that “AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data.”
It urged the company “to review the efficacy data and ensure the most accurate, up-to-date efficacy data be made public as quickly as possible.”
AstraZeneca followed up later on March 23, saying the numbers that it released “were based on a pre-specified interim analysis with a data cut-off of February 17.”
The Cambridge-based company promised to “share our primary analysis with the most up-to-date efficacy data” and issue results of the primary analysis within 48 hours.
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, jumped into the fray. He said AstraZeneca has what is likely “a very good vaccine,” but called the press release “an unforced error.”
Fauci said what AstraZeneca put in the release wasn’t completely accurate.
And then he burst AstraZeneca’s PR bubble.
“This kind of thing does, as you say, do nothing but really cast some doubt about the vaccines and maybe contributes to the hesitancy” to get COVID-19 shots. Ouch!
AstraZeneca deserves all the credit in the world for developing an apparently effective vaccine in record time.
It got the hard part right: science. AstraZeneca dropped the ball on the easy part: public relations.
Just kidding, defense. Sidney Powell, who was a member of Donald Trump’s “rigged election” legal team, says “no reasonable person” could possibly believe her claims of a stolen election were based on facts.
What do you think, MAGA Nation?
“Reasonable people understand that the language used in the political arena, like the language used in labor disputes, is often vituperative, abusive and inexact,” she said in a court filing to dismiss the $1.3B suit against her filed by Dominion Voting Systems.
Her words are not actionable. “As political speech it lies at the core of First Amendment protection, such speech must be uninhibited, robust and wide-open," Powell said.
She believes that ”reasonable persons” understood that her speech was opinions and legal theories. Anybody interested in the rigged election controversy was free to review the evidence and make their own decisions, according to the filing.
Despite Powell’s claim that her words about the rigged election should not be taken as statements of facts, her website www.sidneypowell.com features a pitch for her Defending the Republic PAC.
“Eighty million people were just disenfranchised by the inauguration of a president not elected by lawful votes. The Democrats abandoned their base and the Republican betrayed theirs.
“The American people are starved for truth, restoration of the Rule of Law and even-handed accountability. Americans are fed up with the corruption in government and the elitist political class that views them with condescension and contempt.”
American people are fed up with being spun by the likes of Powell.