Trump dismisses COVID-19 booster shots as a 'money-making operation' for Pfizer

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  • Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested that COVID-19 vaccine booster shots aren't medically necessary.

  • Trump said the boosters are being pushed as "a money-making operation" for pharma companies.

  • The US government announced on Wednesday it will begin offering booster shots in late September.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested that vaccine booster shots aren't medically necessary and instead are being pushed by pharmaceutical companies purely for profit.

"That sounds to me like a money-making operation for Pfizer," Trump, who was secretly vaccinated last January at the White House, told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. "Think of the money involved. An extra shot … How good a business is that? If you're a pure businessman, you'd say, 'you know what, let's give them another shot,' that's another $10 billion of money coming in - the whole thing is crazy."

On Wednesday, the US government announced it will begin offering booster shots in late September and recommend that most people take a third shot 8 months after their second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.

Trump, who also told Bartiromo he is "very proud" of the vaccines, suggested that scientists' and pharmaceutical companies' guidance on vaccines hasn't been informed by science. And he falsely claimed that Pfizer and BioNTech announced it had developed its vaccine one day after the 2020 presidential election. In reality, Pfizer announced its vaccine candidate was effective almost a week after the election. Its CEO has insisted that the timing of the company's announcement was unrelated to politics.

"You wouldn't think you would need a booster," Trump said. "You know, when these first came out, they were good for life. Then they were good for a year or two. And I could see the writing on the wall, I could see the dollar signs in their eyes of that guy that runs Pfizer. You know, the guy that announced the day after the election that he had the vaccine."

US health officials said on Wednesday that they've concluded booster shots are necessary to maximize and prolong immunity to the virus as the delta variant spreads.

"Around the six-month mark in the data, you start to see increases in mild to moderate infection," US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said during a Wednesday briefing. He added, "Our anticipation is that if the trajectory that we are seeing continues, that we will likely see in the future an increase in breakthrough hospitalizations and breakthrough deaths."

Trump also took the opportunity on Wednesday to falsely claim that COVID-19 "was virtually gone" and "over" when he left office, but is surging back because President Joe Biden is doing a "lousy job."

The ex-president and his administration took credit for developing the COVID-19 vaccines through its "Operation Warp Speed," which helped fund the development of the vaccines. But Pfizer didn't participate in Operation Warp Speed and only took government funding for the delivery of its vaccine after it was developed.

Trump and former first lady Melania Trump didn't inform the public when they were vaccinated before leaving the White House last January. The news of their vaccinations was first reported by The New York Times in March.

Read the original article on Business Insider