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Fact Check-False claims Moderna CEO was executed at Guantanamo Bay stem from widely-debunked website

An article from a website regularly debunked by Reuters Fact Check for spreading fake news articles falsely claims that Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel was executed on Nov. 18, 2022 by the “U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps.” There is no evidence to support this claim.

An example of the circulating article can be seen (here).

The posts include a screenshot of parts of an article by Real Raw News (here) dated Nov. 18, 2022 with the headline: “Moderna CEO Hanged at GITMO.”

Patricia Babb, a public affairs officer for the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, told Reuters via email: “This is misinformation.”

Moderna declined to comment on the claims.

Bancel has made public appearances and spoken publicly since Nov. 18 (here), (here).

Reuters found no evidence to support the article’s claim. No reference to the incident exists on the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corp website (www.jag.navy.mil/news.htm) or Moderna’s website (here). A Google search using keywords also does not bring up any credible results (bit.ly/3B3c2RH).

In its “About Us” section (here ), Real Raw News states that “information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes” and that the site “contains humor, parody, and satire.”

The site has a record of publishing fabricated stories, including stories about false arrests, often targeting public figures, and attributing its information to anonymous sources from the U.S. military. Reuters has previously debunked numerous such stories from the website (here), (here), (here), (here), (here).

False claims that notable public figures have been arrested or killed are a narrative that has been debunked by Reuters in the past, and echoes tenets of the Qanon conspiracy theory (here).

VERDICT

False. Claims that Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel was executed on Nov. 18, 2022 by the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps originate from a website that publishes satire and fake news.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .      

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