Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has downplayed his function in securing quicker Pfizer shipments for Australia.
“I used to be merely requested by members of the Australian enterprise group, significantly within the US, to do what I may to try to speed up the supply of Pfizer to Australia,” he informed ABC radio.
“I used to be simply doing my bit, what materials impact it had on the finish of the day, I do not know and we most likely won’t ever know.”
Mr Rudd stated the enterprise figures informed him Pfizer was unimpressed with the federal authorities’s “impolite and dismissive” perspective to earlier negotiations.
“This stands in stark distinction, as I used to be suggested, to the method taken by different heads of presidency around the globe, led by the prime minister of Israel, who spoke to the top of Pfizer some 17 occasions.”
He then held non-public discussions with Pfizer’s world chairman about accelerating Australia’s vaccine rollout.
Eight days later, a deal was introduced.
Mr Rudd wouldn’t reveal the enterprise leaders who approached him however stated he wouldn’t have intervened if he was not requested.
“I might by no means picked up the telephone to the top of Pfizer except I might been approached by senior corporates who had already tried, by way of their very own intermediaries, with Pfizer senior administration to open the door.”
Mr Rudd denied leaking a letter about his dealings with Pfizer.
Well being Minister Greg Hunt has dismissed the intervention, saying he chuckled at recommendations the previous prime minister was liable for the end result.
Mr Rudd stated if the well being minister had any sense of self respect, he would resign for presiding over what Malcolm Turnbull had described as “the most important failure of public coverage in current historical past”.
Pfizer has rejected recommendations any third get together performed a job in its contractual negotiations with the Australian authorities.