Facebook users including Romani community in Czech Republic falling for Canadian HOAX about alleged arrest of pharma exec
A post on Facebook is being shared that falsely alleges Albert Bourla, the general director of Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company, has been arrested. The hoax has spread so extensively that even Romani Facebook users in the Czech Republic are falling for it.
In reality, Bourla was giving live interviews to more than one cable television channel in the United States at the time of his supposed arrest. The fabricated disinformation is from a Canadian website that has repeatedly published untruths about vaccination against COVID-19 and fabricated reports about the non-existent arrests of important people.
In the Czech-language environment, this disinformation has been debunked by the Demagog.cz website. The hoax falsely claims that Bourla, the general director of Pfizer, which produces the vaccine against COVID-19 that is most widely used in the Czech Republic, was supposedly arrested on 5 November.
The hoax falsely alleged that the CEO was being accused of "fraud for his role in misleading customers about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 'vaccine'." An unidentified FBI agent allegedly informed the website of this.
Demagog.cz reports that the hoax first appeared on the morning of 5 November on the Canadian website Conservative Beaver. The website alleged that Bourla had been arrested that morning at what they said was his home in Scarsdale, a suburb of New York City.
Conservative Beaver claimed to have been told about the arrest by an "FBI agent". Apparently, however, no such arrest took place.
On the morning of 5 November, Bourla appeared in live interviews on both CNBC and CNN, then gave an interview to the FOX cable channel after noon that same day. No serious media outlet has reported on any arrest of the head of Pfizer.
Pfizer itself says Bourla has not been arrested, and local police in Scarsdale say they performed no such arrest. The Scarsdale police also said that Bourla does not live there.
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