Fact Check: Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla Did NOT Say By 2023 'We Will Reduce' The Number Of People By 50%

Fact Check

  • by: Courtney Kealy
Fact Check: Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla Did NOT Say By 2023 'We Will Reduce' The Number Of People By 50% Doctored Tape

Did Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla say by 2023 that "we will reduce" the number of people in the world by 50%? No, that's not true: This is a doctored video and Bourla did not say that. The phrase clipped out of this video -- about reducing the number of people who can't afford medications -- changes Bourla's meaning.

The video appears in a post (archived here) that was published on Facebook on May 29, 2022, under the title "By 2023 we will reduce the.. by 50%." The audio, and the closed-captioning, say:

... by 2023 we will reduce the number of people in the world by 50 percent.

This is what the post, with closed captioning activated, looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2022-05-30 at 3.17.30 PM.png

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot, with closed captioning activated, taken on Mon May 30 20:17:302022 UTC)

The original video can be found here on the World Economic Forum website. Its title is "Davos Annual Meeting 2022-Conversation with Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer -Original."

Posted on May 25, 2022, it's from the original live-streamed session. The words "in the world that cannot afford our medicines" have been cut out in the doctored video.

In the original video from 2:42 to 3:00 in the video Bourla actually says:

...the first week we met in January of 19 in California and to set up the goals the number of people in the world that cannot afford our medicines by 50%. I think today this dream is becoming a reality.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Courtney Kealy

Courtney Kealy is a writer and fact-checker at Lead Stories. A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, she specializes in national and foreign affairs with more than two decades experience in the Middle East. Her work has appeared on FOX News, AlJazeera America, ABC News, the New York Times, Marie Claire, Time and Newsweek.

Read more about or contact Courtney Kealy

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