A message which notes that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was arrested from Scarsdale, New York on Friday is being shared across social media. It notes that he was charged with multiple counts of fraud for his role in deceiving customers on the COVID-19 vaccine's effectiveness.
It further states that Bourla was being held by the American Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) while he awaits a bail hearing and that there was a media blackout over the issue.
However, the message is completely fabricated. We found no credible reports regarding Bourla's arrest and saw that he has been active on his verified Twitter account.
The viral message states that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was arrested by the FBI on Friday, on multiple counts of fraud. It went on the claim there was a "media blackout" over the incident.
The information was first shared by a Canadian website 'Conservative Beaver', which claimed that the "media blackout" was ordered by the police and immediately approved by a judge. The article was published on 5 November 2021.
WHAT WE FOUND
We looked up Albert Bourla's name for any reports regarding his arrest from credible media outlets and did not come across any. However, we found that Bourla had spoken at Fortune's CEO Initiative at Washington DC on 15 November, ten days after the claim first surfaced.
We also saw that the CEO's verified Twitter profile was consistently active and has been tweeting information regarding the company.
In an e-mail, Keanna Ghazvini, Senior Associate of Global Media Relations at Pfizer told Reuters, “I can confirm that is a false claim.”
Clearly, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was not arrested by the FBI for fraud and the media was not trying to hide any such information.