Ursula von der Leyen (second right) speaks with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla (left), Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (second left) and BioNTech's Özlem Türeci during an official visit to the Pfizer pharmaceutical company in Puurs, Belgium (John Thys/Pool via AP Images)

Eu­ro­pean Om­buds­man up­holds 'mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion' find­ing over miss­ing Pfiz­er CEO texts

The Eu­ro­pean Om­buds­man blast­ed the Com­mis­sion’s han­dling of re­quests for text mes­sages be­tween pres­i­dent Ur­su­la von der Leyen and Pfiz­er CEO Al­bert Bourla on Wednes­day, while of­fer­ing rec­om­men­da­tions for record­ing work-re­lat­ed texts.

The texts re­port­ed­ly led to Pfiz­er’s largest vac­cine deal, ac­cord­ing to a New York Times piece pub­lished last April — but up­on a pub­lic ac­cess re­quest made by a jour­nal­ist, the Com­mis­sion re­spond­ed that it had no record of them. Af­ter an in­quiry by Om­buds­man Emi­ly O’Reil­ly, the Com­mis­sion said last month that it still hadn’t lo­cat­ed the mes­sages, though O’Reil­ly point­ed out that it’s still un­clear whether the ad­min­is­tra­tion looked “di­rect­ly and cor­rect­ly” for the texts.

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