'Flagrantly illegal': Scandal erupts at Pfizer, and it's not about shots

Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, Dec. 14, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)
Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, Dec. 14, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

A new scandal has erupted that involves Pfizer, the drug maker that has sold millions and millions of doses of its COVID-19 shots.

But it doesn’t have anything to do with the fight against the China virus that invaded the U.S. and has killed more than a million people.

A report at the Washington Free Beacon explained it involves racist practices at the company.

The company offers what is thought to be a “prestigious fellowship,” and while it boasts of being an “equal opportunity” company, it bars, on the basis of race, whites and Asians from applying.

Civil-rights lawyers are calling it a blatant violation of the law.

Adam Mortara told the Free Beacon, “This Pfizer program is so flagrantly illegal I seriously wonder how it passed internal review by its general counsel.”

The company promotes on its website its “bold move” to create a “workplace for all.” Its “Breakthrough Fellowship” scheme offers college students multiple internships, a fully funded master’s degree and employment.

But only if your skin is the right color.

Only “Black/African American, Latino/Hispanic and Native American” students are allowed.

Still interested in the company, but without the necessary race component for the program?

The company said it offers an education assistance program for others, and people can apply for the Summer Growth Experience Program. Or “create a job alert on our Pfizer.com/Careers page.”

The report noted Gail Heriot, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, called the offering a “clear case of liability” under federal law that ban racial discrimination in contracting and racial discrimination in employment.

“Major corporations … seem to think that as long as they’re woke, they’re bulletproof,” Heriot said.

The report noted, “Every lawyer contacted by the Washington Free Beacon said the case against Pfizer was open-and-shut. David Bernstein, an expert on civil rights law at George Mason University School of Law, said the Breakthrough Fellowship was ‘obviously illegal.’ Dan Morenoff, the executive director of the American Civil Rights Project, called it a ‘very facial violation’ of Title VII. Jonathan Berry, a partner at Boyden Gray & Associates, said it was ‘hard to see any way’ the program was legal.”

Pfizer did not respond with a comment.

Pfizer said in a 2021 report that “equity” is now important to the corporation and it is pursuing various “Environmental, Social, and Governance” agendas.

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