Israel offered Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla the chance to light an Independence Day torch
, and although he declined due a scheduling conflict, the CEO did give a pre-recorded video speech at the event.
"I'm honored that you've chosen to pay tribute to Pfizer in this Independence Day ceremony," Bourla began.
"Along with other Jews in the world, I take immense pride in Israel. Pride in the fact that Israel is there for Jews everywhere, for us and for our children. Pride in Israel's achievements in science, technology, innovation, and so much more" he told the audience.
"This year, the partnership between Israel and Pfizer produced yet another groundbreaking achievement," he said. "Together we are demonstrating that through mass vaccinations, we can defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and save lives. I want to thank Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and all the Pfizer colleagues in Israel. We have been shown that there is a path back to normalcy – and that is definitely something the entire world can celebrate."
The CEO concluded by saying "Happy Independence Day" in Hebrew.
There were many who expressed their gratitude towards Bourla on Twitter for his help in bringing the Pfizer vaccine
I read today: Pfizer's CEO, Albert Burla, a Thessaloniki Jew whose family was mostly exterminated in the Holocaust, organized it so that the first place in Thessaloniki where vaccinations were given was in the Jewish nursing home "Shaul Modiano," Michaelzil tweeted on January 6. "The first to be vaccinated was 90-year-old Zana Satsoglu, who lost her entire family in Auschwitz."
Others, however, tweeted their disapproval, claiming a business deal between Pfizer and Israel does not give Bourla the honor to speak of his Zionism at an Independence Day ceremony.