With so many prior screw ups, now is the time for Big Fact Check to shut down.
Big Fact Check and it’s many righteous followers erupted into furious Old Testament anger when some tweeters began noting that a Pfizer executive testified before the European Parliament that Pfizer never tested if their COVID-19 prevented transmission — much against the impressions that many, including the pharma giant itself, had given to the public.
Jumping into the fray, BBC senior reporter for health and misinformation Rachel Schraer began whacking the claim down with a thread going into a series of dizzying, tiny details that squiggled around facts and came out burnishing Pfizer, which has long played word games that misled average people. The larger question one should ask: Why are the BBC and other fact check sites constantly sprinting to the podium as spokespeople for an industry with such a long and tattered history of documented lies?
First, a little context: Until BP agreed to a record $4 billion fine for the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it was Pfizer that had paid the largest criminal fine in the history of our planet. Pfizer’s settlement was just part of the tally collected by Public Citizen, which reported in 2018 that drugmakers entered into 412 settlements totaling $38.6 billion in criminal and civil penalties in the prior 26 years. Again, no other industry comes close to this.