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Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in April, 2021 (AP photo) Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in April, 2021 (AP photo)

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in April, 2021 (AP photo)

Monique Curet
By Monique Curet January 5, 2022

Old video clip of Pfizer CEO is not referring to microchips in COVID-19 treatment

If Your Time is short

The video clip of the Pfizer CEO is from 2018, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was referring to a drug that had just been approved for treating schizophrenia.

There is no evidence that Pfizer’s new antiviral medication for at-home treatment of COVID-19 contains a microchip.

Attempts to corral the COVID-19 pandemic have ranged from testing to vaccines and now to newly approved treatments — and every step of the way, false claims about microchipping have followed.

An article published Jan. 2, 2022, was headlined, "Pfizer CEO: New Pill Will Have a Microchip That Transmits Info Once You Swallow It!"

The article, published on a website called We Love Trump, was shared on Facebook and was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The article reads, "They’re way beyond Vaccine Passports…They’ve moved on to just putting a microchip right in the pill you swallow and then letter (sic) that send out all sorts of data, live from your stomach! Think that sounds crazy? Here is Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla live on video telling you all about it."

However, the video referenced in the story is of Bourla speaking at a World Economic Forum event in January 2018, two years before the COVID-19 pandemic began. He was talking about a drug that had just been approved for treating schizophrenia.

In the video, around the 45:27 mark a participant asked the CEO about technology to engage patients who don’t take the medicines they’re supposed to. Bourla answered, "I think it’s fascinating what’s happening in this field right now. FDA approved the first electronic pill, if I can call it like that."

Bourla then gave a description matching a pill called Abilify MyCite that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November 2017. The pill contained ​​a sensor that could be used to monitor whether the medication was taken.

The headline on the Jan. 2 article refers to Pfizer’s "new pill." Though the article does not say what this "new pill" is, the timing and use of the term "vaccine passports" in the headline suggests it’s about a COVID-19-related drug.

In December, the FDA approved Pfizer’s new oral antiviral medication, Paxlovid, for at-home treatment of COVID-19. But there is no evidence that Paxlovid contains a microchip, based on media and company reports.

The We Love Trump site mentioned the same video clip of Bourla in a different article on Dec. 17, and in that story accurately reported that the video clip was from 2018.

Our ruling

The headline on an article shared on Facebook says, "Pfizer CEO: New Pill Will Have a Microchip That Transmits Info Once You Swallow It!"

The article cites a video of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla speaking at an event about sensors in pills. But the video was from 2018, about two years before the COVID-19 pandemic. Bourla was talking about a drug that had been approved two months earlier for treating schizophrenia, not any COVID-19 treatment.

While Pfizer has a new antiviral medication, Paxlovid, that has been approved for COVID-19 treatment, there is no evidence it contains a microchip.

We rate this claim False. 

 

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Old video clip of Pfizer CEO is not referring to microchips in COVID-19 treatment

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