A spokesperson for Kevin Rudd has just issued the following statement:
Mr Rudd wrote to Scott Morrison on 30 June to update him on the outcome of a personal conversation with [the] chairman of Pfizer earlier that day.
Mr Rudd sought this meeting at the urging of senior Australian business leaders, who were deeply concerned by the government’s failure to lobby Pfizer at its most senior levels as many other world leaders have over recent months.
Prior to speaking with Dr Bourla, Mr Rudd directly notified Mr Morrison and asked if there was anything he could say, or not say, that would benefit Australia’s efforts to accelerate the vaccine rollout. Mr Morrison provided some advice and later thanked Mr Rudd for his letter summarising the conversation.
As the letter records, Mr Rudd spoke with Dr Bourla in a personal capacity as a concerned private citizen – not as a representative of the federal government.
Mr Rudd also indicated that he was not seeking to negotiate on the government’s behalf and any contractual arrangements needed to be made with officials.
Mr Rudd’s letter is entirely consistent with public statements by Pfizer.
Mr Rudd has not claimed responsibility for decisions by Pfizer and – as he made clear to Mr Morrison – all negotiating powers rested with the federal government
Mr Rudd would definitely not seek to associate himself with the Australian government’s comprehensively botched vaccine procurement program.