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Fact Check-Edited video cuts Pfizer CEO’s comments at World Economic Forum

An edited video has been shared by social media users online showing the Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, Switzerland in May 2022. Bourla did not say that by 2023, his team aimed to cut the world’s population by 50%. The unedited clip showed the company’s CEO saying that his team set a target to cut the number of people who couldn’t afford Pfizer’s medicines by 50%.

The misleading clip cuts Bourla’s comments, taking several words out of the clip to make it appear as if the company’s CEO said that his team aimed to see the world’s population plummet by 2023.

The deceptively edited clip makes it seem that Bourla said: “I think that it was really a bit of a dream 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 would reduce the number of people in the world by 50%. I think today, this dream is becoming a reality.”

People are then heard clapping in response to his comments.

One user who shared the edited video on Facebook said: “PFIZER CEO: “Our dream is to reduce population by 50% by 2023. I think today the dream is becoming reality“ #WEF2022 #Davos So which of us is on their ‘hit list’?!” ( here )

Examples of the clip shared on social media can be seen ( here ), ( here ), ( here ) and ( here ).

The clip was deceptively cut, however, and the Pfizer CEO did not say that his team had set a target to cut the world’s population by 2023.

The unaltered video can be seen in a livestream of the conversation that was uploaded by the World Economic Forum (WEF) [2:30s] ( bit.ly/3NMH8Rx ).

In the unaltered clip, Bourla is heard saying: “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 would reduce the number of people in the world who cannot afford our medicines by 50%.”

VERDICT

Altered. The CEO of Pfizer did not say at the WEF in Davos that his team had set a goal to see the world’s population plummet by 50% by 2023. The clip circulating online deceptively cuts several words from Bourla’s comments. In reality, he said his team had set a goal to cut the number of people who cannot afford Pfizer medicines by half by that year.

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

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