According to an November 2020 article from Fox Business:
President Trump had repeatedly said he expected to have the results by the end of October – ahead of the November election.
In a statement on Monday, Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla revealed that, following a discussion with the FDA, it decided to drop a 32-case interim analysis – and instead conduct the first analysis at a minimum of 62 cases.
The first interim efficacy analysis was conducted on Nov. 8, at which time the company said there were 94 cases in trial.
A similar question around the 62/94 cases discrepancy is raised by a November 2020 FiveThirtyEight article:
Pfizer was originally supposed to get a peek at the efficacy after 32 volunteers had contracted the disease. But somewhere along the line, the company and the FDA decided together to wait longer, out of concerns that positive results at 32 cases could lead the company to apply for approval too soon. The early look was then supposed to happen after the trial hit 62 cases. But this is where the pandemic itself seems to have collided with the research.
We don’t know exactly what was going on between the 62nd case and the 94th — something Topol, for one, definitely wants more information about.
Is this a allegation true? What is the explanation for Pfizer waiting until 94 cases rather than wrapping up their analysis at 62 cases as suggested earlier by the FDA, possibly reporting the result 2-3 weeks in advance of the election?
Multiple fact check websites have already covered this story and declared the "Pfizer delay" story as fake. However websites like FactCheck.org seem to rely on statements by Pfizer officials to come to a conclusion, such as this one from the CEO of Pfizer:
AB: Sunday we knew that the data are in. So the data came in on Thursday or Friday. And on — but you know, from the time that the data comes in, before the committee meets, some people need to prepare for each case a very big and accurate narrative. And the physician should sign it. So there's a lot of work that needs to be done. But we did it with the speed of light. And once we had the 94 cases, they worked on the narratives, they worked on the tabulation of the results. So on Sunday morning, we didn't want to lose a day, right? They didn't do it Monday. They did it Sunday. The committee met and they reviewed the data.
Is it possible to substantiate these claims without exclusively relying on Pfizer's own statements? In particular, could it be explained by pointing to similar patterns in Astrazeneca/Moderna/J&J announcements or some other piece of tangential evidence explaining the 62-94 cases gap?