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BRUSSELS, Belgium (LifeSiteNews) – The European Commission admitted in a letter Wednesday to its internal watchdog group the European Ombudsman that texts between Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla have disappeared.
The admission comes amid questions about a potential multibillion dollar deal between Pfizer and the European Union (EU) for COVID vaccines.
EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said in the letter, “The Commission can confirm that the search undertaken by the President’s cabinet for relevant text messages corresponding to the request for access to documents has not yielded any results.” The texts between von der Leyen and Bourla were made amid a deal for COVID vaccines announced in May 2021. Von der Leyen told The New York Times that she was negotiating the deal with Bourla via text messages.
After a journalist was denied a freedom of information request for the texts, an investigation by European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly found that the Commission had made no attempt to find the texts. The Commission later stated that it did not believe that the texts were covered by EU transparency rules because they were “short-lived.” The incident, called “Deletegate,” led O’Reilly to accuse the commission of “maladministration,” and she asked the commission to search for the texts again.
According to the letter, the texts are no longer in von der Leyen’s possession, and maintains that “Due to their short-lived and ephemeral nature, text and instant messages in general do not contain important information relating to policies, activities and decisions of the commission.” The Commission also stated that it intends to “issue further guidance on modern communication tools” to avoid transparency problems in future and maintained that its actions were “in line with the applicable legislation and the relevant case law on access to documents.”
Reacting to the letter, O’Reilly said that it was “problematic on several points.” O’Reilly declined to comment further, pending a report that is being written on the investigation, The Guardian reported, that is set to come out in July.
The deal between the EU and Pfizer had been backed by several EU member states. However, due to declining vaccination rates and worries that the shots will be at risk of waste, several member states questioned the deal.
The Pfizer BioNTech vaccines are known to have severe risks and complications. Studies have shown that teenage boys are at much higher risk of heart inflammation after taking the Pfizer jab and that male fertility drops significantly in the months after taking the vaccine. In January, the World Health Organization said that children should not be routinely vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer jab.
The EU decided to renew its COVID passport system Monday in spite of opposition.