Ms Bourla, 48, is “alive and well, contrary to what was said on the Internet,” Amy Rose, a spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company, told the Associated Press (AP) on Tuesday.
On 10 November, a blog called “The Conservative Beaver” had put out the claim that Ms Bourla had died and listed her cause of death to be from “complications from the Pfizer vaccine.” The claim had since been widely shared on social media.
The blog did not provide evidence or any substantive proof to back its claim.
Ms Rose accused the blog of “deliberately and maliciously attempting to cause emotional distress to the Bourla family.”
“It is unconscionable that a person posing as a journalist would spread such lies about our CEO and his family with the goal of undermining confidence in a vaccine that has been given to hundreds of millions of people worldwide,” she added.
The conservative blog said Ms Bourla “passed away in the emergency room at New York-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital after being brought in by paramedics.”
“The cause of death has been listed as complications from the Pfizer vaccine,” it incorrectly said.
The blog also wrongly stated that Ms Bourla had expressed scepticism with Pfizer’s Covid vaccine. A months-old statement made by her was taken out of context, according to an AP fact check.
In an interview she had given to a local outlet, Ms Bourla had said she was very proud of her husband’s work in developing the Covid-19 vaccine. The interview was taken in February when she had not received the vaccine yet as government guidelines had then prioritised jabs for essential workers, older adults and those at greater risk of developing complications from Covid-19.
Ms Bourla had never expressed any scepticism about the vaccine, as was wrongly claimed by the Canada-based blog, which had also published another fake story about the Bourlas.
The blog had claimed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had charged Mr Bourla with fraud, after which he was arrested. The company had refused those claims as well and the FBI also said it had no knowledge of such a case.
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