Not Real News

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla speaks about the Biden administration's global COVID-19 vaccination efforts ahead of the G-7 summit, on, June 10, 2021, in St. Ives, England. On Friday, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly claiming that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says the company’s dream is to “reduce the population by 50%” in 2023. 

CLAIM: Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says the company’s dream is to “reduce the population by 50%” in 2023.

THE FACTS: The video, recorded May 25, is altered to cut Bourla’s statement mid-sentence, twisting the meaning. A full video of the statement shows he states the goal is to “reduce the number of people in the world that cannot afford our medicines by 50%.”

Days after Bourla spoke at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on May 25, social media users shared the altered video of his remarks. At the event, Bourla announced a new program to provide all of Pfizer’s patented vaccines and medicines — already available in the U.S. and the European Union — at a low cost to 45 of the world’s poorest countries. In a video of the remarks that the World Economic Forum posted on YouTube, Bourla clearly mentions medication.

“I think that it’s really fulfilling of a dream that we had together with my leadership team when we started in ’19. The first week we met in January of ’19 in California to set up the goals for the next five years — and one of them was by 2023, we will reduce the number of people in the world that cannot afford our medicines by 50%. I think today this dream is becoming reality,” he states during the talk.

But in the clip circulating on social media, the second sentence has been deceptively edited to make it appear that Bourla was talking about reducing the world’s population.

“The first week we met in January of ’19 in California to set up the goals for the next five years — and one of them was by 2023, we will reduce the number of people in the world by 50%,” he appears to say in the edited video.

The program includes 23 medicines and vaccines that treat infectious diseases, some cancers and rare and inflammatory conditions. The company says it will only charge for manufacturing costs and “minimal” distribution expenses, the AP has reported. While most of the countries in the program are in Africa, Haiti, Syria, Cambodia and North Korea are also on the list. Keanna Ghazvini, a spokesperson for Pfizer, confirmed in an email that the video circulating on social media was edited.