Vaccine: Commentator says UK must not ‘give away’ supply
Furious Twitter users were quick to hit back at Ms Adler’s claims, saying they had not witnessed the Prime Minister treating the EU in such a manner, but rather he had refused to be drawn on the dispute. Some accused her of displaying a “lack of impartiality” in her social media posts. Ms Adler retweeted a Politico article that claimed Britain was restricting exports to the EU of around 100 medicines that could be used to treat Covid patients.
She tweeted: “While people everywhere suffer and die from Covid the vaccine dispute between governments and with pharmaceutical companies is getting uglier and exposing hypocrisy.
“The EU lectured the world about ‘vaccines for all’ and now is considering an export ban on vaccines.
“But while the Johnson government berates the EU – the UK has banned the export of over 170 medicines ‘needed for British patients’ included dozens reportedly used in treating Covid patients.”
A flurry of tweets from social media users followed, with many claiming she was “biased” in her assessment of the situation.
The BBC is embroiled in a bias row over Katya Adler’s tweet
Boris Johnson watches as an elderly man in north London is vaccinated
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference on Tuesday, Mr Johnson sidestepped a question from a reporter on whether the UK would consider imposing an export ban on vaccine supplies, saying: “I’ll stick to my lines”.
Mr Johnson added: “The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is obviously very important for our country and for the world and the matter in question is for our friends in the EU and AstraZeneca.”
Twitter user Daniel Cremin responded to Ms Adler’s tweet, saying: “Blatant editorialisation here.
“When exactly has the Johnson Government ‘berated’ the EU over its ludicrous behaviour towards AstraZeneca on vaccines?
READ MORE: Brexiteer explodes at EU for ‘making life difficult’ for UK
A woman in Spain is given a Covid jab
“The Government’s response has been calm and diplomatic. Johnson sidestepped being drawn into the story when talking to journalists.”
He added: “I’ve complained on the grounds of editorialisation and a lack of due impartiality – a journalist displaying personal political bias with baseless claims.”
A second man, named Mark, said: “The Johnson Government is not berating the EU. Been remarkably calm actually.”
And a third, named Karl Reid, tweeted: “I’m very sorry Katya, I usually think you’re very balanced and fair but this seems wrong.
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A woman at a vaccine hub in the UK receives a jab
Boris Johnson carries a box of vaccines
“The British Gov has been very calm and measured in its response while the EU has been using very provocative language.”
Others questioned how exactly the Prime Minister had “berated” the EU on the issue, with one saying: “I haven’t heard any berating!”
One person with the Twitter handle @VariolationT said they had not witnessed “much berating from the UK Government on vaccines, rather they’re keeping diplomatically silent.”
They added: “Lots of BBC bias though, seeing that whenever I look.”
Covid vaccines live
Donald Montgomery tweeted: “The UK government has participated in no dispute – they regard this as a matter of contract between the EU and AstraZeneca.
“Here is another stupid contribution to the destruction of what used to be a great public service broadcaster, the BBC.”
And Sally Miller simply asked: “Do you think this is balanced reporting?”
Others hit out at what they called the BBC’s “left leaning ideas” and “bias for the EU” and even resorted to calling for the Beeb to be defunded of public money.
A man boards a vaccine bus in France
One woman named Rose said: “No dispute between governments only between the EU and one supplier. Why do you tell so many lies? #DefundtheBBC.”
On Thursday it emerged that AstraZeneca is prepared to publish the delivery contract it has with Brussels and aims on Friday to make proposals to the European Commission on which sensitive parts to black out.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine quoted a European Union source as saying that while drug giant would not be able to deliver the 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected for the first quarter, volumes should significantly exceed the 31 million doses that had earlier been reported.
The report follows days of recriminations between the pharmaceutical company and European capitals after it emerged that AstraZeneca would not be able to fulfil promised delivery targets.