Did Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel know that the COVID-19 pandemic was coming, long before it happened?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Moderna CEO Knew COVID-19 Pandemic Was Coming!
People are sharing an article by The Expose (formerly Daily Expose), which claims that Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel knew that the COVID-19 pandemic was coming, long before it happened!
Here is an excerpt from the really long article, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!
Before the Covid Pandemic was deployed Moderna’s CEO told staff: “We need to make a billion doses of Vaccines next year, there’s going to be a Pandemic”
Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel told his employees before it was declared that a pandemic was going to happen in 2020. At the same time, he told staff that Moderna would need to make a billion doses of vaccine the “next year.” He also confirmed that the CEO of GAVI knew about his pre-pandemic conversation with Moderna staff.
The conversation took place before the world knew about the covid “pandemic.” The World Health Organisation (“WHO”) only declared the “novel coronavirus (covid-19) outbreak a global pandemic” on 11 March 2020. “There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus claimed.
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Truth : Moderna CEO Did Not Know COVID-19 Pandemic Was Coming!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS by The Expose (formerly Daily Expose), and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Daily Expose Is A Fake News Website
It was founded in November 2020 by Jonathan Allen-Walker, a mechanic from Lincolnshire, and is infamous for publishing COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation that were quoted by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, and Chinese state media.
Its articles have been regularly debunked as fake news, so you should NEVER share anything from Daily Expose / The Expose. Here are some of its fake stories that I personally debunked earlier:
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Fact #2 : Moderna Did Not Make COVID-19 Vaccine In 2019
The claim that Moderna made 100,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2019 – before the pandemic happened, was an (intentional?) misunderstanding of what its CEO Stephane Bancel said at Davos 2023.
At that time, Bancel said that Moderna made 100,000 vaccine doses for the whole of 2019. However, it was the entire year’s production of vaccines for cancer, the Zika virus, a flu vaccine, and vaccines against other respiratory viruses.
Moderna spokesperson, Chris Ridley, later confirmed that Bancel was referring to the Moderna’s entire output in 2019, and not COVID-19 vaccines.
The 100,000 Bancel mentioned during the “State of the Pandemic” session referred to “total doses across our portfolio: Vaccines, rare diseases, cancer – the entire companies 2019 pipeline.
Moderna had been developing mRNA vaccines since 2011 – long before the COVID-19 pandemic began. By 2015, it developed the first in-human dose of an mRNA flu vaccine candidate.
Fact #3 : SARS-CoV-2 Genome Only Released In January 2020
China announced its novel coronavirus outbreak on 31 December 2019, and only released the first draft of its genome on 11 January 2020.
So it would not be possible for Moderna to develop any COVID-19 vaccine in 2019, much less manufacture 100,000 doses.
It is also not possible for Stephane Bancel to predict that COVID-19 would become a pandemic when the world only found out about this virus on the last day of 2019.
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Fact #4 : Stephane Bancel Predicted COVID-19 Would Become Pandemic
At the State of the Pandemic panel, the host Sasha Vakulina asked Bancel about vaccine development, to which he responded:
So the great news versus 2020, where we are today is that we have manufacturing capacity. As Seth knows, when the pandemic happened, Moderna had made 100,000 dose in 2019 for the whole year.
And I remember walking into the office of my head of manufacturing and I say, ‘How about we make a billion dose next year?’ And he looked at me a bit funny and say, ‘What?’
And I say, ‘Yeah, we need to make a billion dose next year, there’s going to be a pandemic.’”
Bancel did not mention when this incident happened, but it appears to have happened in 2020, based on an August 2021 interview with Pictet Asset Management, where he said:
In 2019, we made fewer than 100,000 doses of vaccine. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, we shipped over 100 million doses and are now on a trajectory to produce 1 billion doses for this year.
It appears that Stephane Bancel predicted sometime in early 2020 that COVID-19 will end up becoming a pandemic, and wanted Moderna to ramp up its production capacity to deal with it.
Fact #5 : Many People Predicted COVID-19 Would Become Pandemic
While The Expose and many conspiracy theorists are suggesting that this is “proof” that the COVID-19 pandemic was “planned”, that is not true.
They (intentionally?) “forgot” that many scientists feared / predicted in early 2020 that the novel coronavirus outbreak in China could become a pandemic, after China failed to quell its outbreaks.
As early as 22 January 2020, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus convened an Emergency Committee to assess whether the outbreak constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
Just 8 days later, he would be forced to reconvene another Emergency Committee meeting, and declare the outbreak a PHEIC, after over 7,800 cases were confirmed worldwide in 18 countries.
It was obvious, even in January 2020, that COVID-19 was potentially, if not likely, to become a pandemic, due to the rapid development and spread of outbreaks around the world.
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Fact #6 : No Evidence Moderna Had Contract To Manufacture 1 Billion Doses
There is no evidence Moderna had a contract of any kind to manufacture 1 billion vaccine doses.
Just because Stephane Bancel asked his head of manufacturing to ramp up production capacity to 1 billion vaccine doses does not mean Moderna already has a contract to manufacture 1 billion doses.
You don’t have to be a pharmaceutical CEO to assume that, if COVID-19 becomes a pandemic, there would be a huge demand for a vaccine. Many billions of doses would be required.
After all – there were over 7.7 billion people in the world at the end of 2019! Even if Moderna wins just 10% of the vaccine contracts, it would need to produce 1.54 billion doses!
Just to give you a little context – Pfizer, which is a more established pharmaceutical company, delivered over 3 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2021, and would deliver over 4 billion doses in 2022.
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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