Social media heavyweights wooed for Pfizer smear campaign

LE PECQ, France (AP) — Social media influencers in France with hundreds of thousands of followers say a mysterious advertising agency offered to pay them if they agreed to smear Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine with negative fake stories. The smear effort drew a withering response from French Health Minister Olivier Veran, who called it “pathetic.” French YouTuber Léo Grasset is among those contacted. He told The Associated Press that he was asked to make bogus claims that the Pfizer vaccine poses a particularly deadly risk. Grasset, who has 1.1 million subscribers on YouTube, says he refused. Other France-based influencers with sizable audiences on Twitter, Instagram and other platforms also said they were contacted with offers of payment for posts.