A New York Times story that went after pharmaceutical company Pfizer for selling their coronavirus vaccine appears to have backfired, with social media commentators praising the company for creating life-saving medication.
The New York Times story hit Pfizer for making over $3.5 billion in the first three months of 2021. The Times shared the story Tuesday morning on Facebook, and it has been liked or reacted to more than 21,000 times. More than 4,200 comments on the story – many of them critical.
Commentators pointed out that the company had created a vaccine that will likely save lives. They also noted that vaccines have a very cheap cost per person and that people can get the vaccines for free.
“So the cost for the two shots is under $40 per person? That is reasonable and a good use of our tax dollars,” one person said. “Pfizer should get some reward for producing a life-saving medicine.”
Another person called Pfizer’s profits “well deserved.”
“The science, innovation, technology and brainpower that went into making the vaccine is worth it and more,” the commentator wrote. “Time to stop acting entitled.” (RELATED: Pfizer Reportedly Set To Approve Coronavirus Vaccines For Teens Within A Week)
“How many people had to pay for their vaccinations? None that I know,” someone wrote. “If the government pays for it, I’d say that’s a good use of my tax money. As for profit – that’s America. Not exactly new.”
“I have no problem with this,” someone added. “Should we expect these companies to put time, energy, and resources into developing life-saving medicines for free? If financial incentive is driving critical research and development, I’m fine with it.”
“I don’t care if they make money,” one woman noted. “That’s capitalism. They aren’t price gouging and they took a risk to produce millions of doses early before FDA approval so we could get shots faster.”
“Why would anyone have a problem with this?” someone asked. “How is it different from going to a doctor or a hospital and paying them for the services?”
The other people with the top comments on Facebook agreed.
“Why is this a problem? They are doing great work with the vaccine and not charging an arm and a leg for it. They are also a business. Don’t we want our businesses to make a profit, as long as they are also paying taxes?”
“Nice! Good for them. I hope they enjoy tremendous profits for their tireless work to save the world from the grips of the pandemic.”
“Fair enough. They made a vaccine available all around the world in like a 12 month period to help end one of the largest pandemics human society has ever faced.”
“They are a business which did a remarkable thing. Congratulations.”
Others in the comment section of the article itself shared the same sentiments.
“And as has already been said … ‘Worth every penny,'” one person wrote.
“What is the point of this article,” someone else asked. “Who cares if the company is making a huge profit and the CEO is getting paid bigly. Good for them.”
“I could not be more proud of Pfizer and its leadership as they continue to save millions of lives through their products and innovation,” another comment said. “More than ever we need to protect its intellectual property and remind ourselves that profits drive life-saving innovations and that should never be a crime. I am grateful to Pfizer and all the other pharmaceutical companies for all they do.”
Many of the rest of the comments on the article continued in a similar tone.
“The comments on this article is an indicator of severe decline of USA as a technological powerhouse! Here we have multiple American companies that won the vaccine race and bringing a life saving vaccine to everyone for just $20/dose, and we have leftists whining endlessly about profit.”
“They’re a business and businesses are there to make profits and pay their employers. I don’t think many people would turn up at work if they didn’t get paid; people have bills and day to day living costs to pay. Money only doesn’t matter if you plenty of it.”
“Given the billions Pfizer spent developing the vaccine, and billions in capital costs to manufacture it. Good on you Pfizer you deserve every penny you make.”
“Good! They’re literally saving the world.”
“If they had made double this, it still would be a great deal for America and the world. People lose site of the benefits of Capitalism.”
“Phizer and Moderna have done more than any other commercial or government entity to solving the Covid crises. Glad they are making a profit as they deserve it.”
“I refuse to split hairs on this one. The lives saved and that will be saved is a testament to innovation and courage. Pfizer should be rewarded for being bold.”
“Good for them!”
Berkeley professor Robert Reich fared similarly when he posted a tweet Tuesday about Pfizer’s profits.
“Unlike several vaccine manufacturers that vowed to forego profits during the Covid-19 pandemic, Pfizer planned to profit,” Reich said. “Today it announced that the vaccine brought in $3.5 billion in the first three months of 2021, nearly a quarter of its total revenue.”
Although he did not receive quite as many reactions as the Times, 547 people commented, 533 retweeted and 849 people liked it as of Wednesday afternoon.
Unlike several vaccine manufacturers that vowed to forego profits during the Covid-19 pandemic, Pfizer planned to profit. Today it announced that the vaccine brought in $3.5 billion in the first three months of 2021, nearly a quarter of its total revenue.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) May 4, 2021
Many people replied disagreeing with Reich’s take for similar reasons that people criticized the Times’ article.
This take is terrible on its face for ignoring the immense economic and societal benefits of the tax, but made worse by the fact you’re complaining about profits while citing their revenue total.
— Rachael Larimore (@RachaelBL) May 5, 2021
First of all, $3.5 billion is revenue, not profit, so this is totally misleading to say “brought in.” Second, congratulations to the scientists and manufacturers at Pfizer on developing a literal world-saving drug. Profits incentivize innovation and worked exactly as it should.
— Tee Ceby (@ace_of_plates) May 5, 2021
Given how amazing their vaccine is how much social good its done, sounds like they earned every penny.
— John Ellis (@Jellis581) May 5, 2021
And without Pfizer The world would be like India right now. Criticizing them for running a business that the world is relying on to survive is BS.
— frankiefoster (@frankiesquirt) May 4, 2021
And how many MILLIONS of lives did they and other pharma companies save? How many TRILLIONS were saved by the country reopening?
— Peter Mallouk (@PeterMallouk) May 5, 2021