Fact Check: No, Pfizer CEO did not say his company aims to cut world population by 50%

fact check: no, pfizer ceo did not say his company aims to cut world population by 50%

Fact Check: No, Pfizer CEO did not say his company aims to cut world population by 50%

A video of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has gone viral on social media, where he can be heard talking about his company’s goal of “reducing the number of people in the world.”

In the video, Bourla can be heard saying, “I think that is 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 by 50 per cent. I think today, this dream is becoming a reality.”

fact check: no, pfizer ceo did not say his company aims to cut world population by 50%

AFWA’s investigation found that this video was both digitally altered and shared out of context to give it a different meaning.

Archived versions of similar posts can be seen here and here.

AFWA PROBE

We could see “World Economic Forum” written all over the blue background behind Bourla. So, we searched for talks that the Pfizer CEO had given at the event. We found a video on the official YouTube channel of the World Economic Forum.

This video, more than half an hour long, was uploaded to the channel on May 25. It was a conversation between Bourla and Klaus Schwab, the Executive Director of the World Economic Forum.

While answering Schwab’s question about Pfizer’s non-profit plan for dispensing drugs to 45 economically disadvantaged nations, Bourla said the following, “I think that is really fulfilling of a dream that we had, together with our 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 per cent. I think today, this dream is becoming a reality.”

Thus, it became clear that in the viral video, Bourla’s words were cut out. Instead of, “We will reduce the number of people in the world that cannot afford our medicines by 50 per cent,” the viral video shows him saying, “We will reduce the number of people in the world by 50 per cent.”

(With input from Sanjana Saxena)

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