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Loreben Tuquero
By Loreben Tuquero August 16, 2023

No proof that the Marines ‘captured’ Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla

If Your Time is short

  • There is no evidence Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was "captured" by the U.S. Marine Corps.

  • The article was published by Real Raw News, a website that publishes "humor, parody and satire" and has a history of posting false information.

If you see a headline proclaiming that a notable personality has been suddenly arrested, there’s a strong chance it might have come from Real Raw News, a website notorious for fabricating such sensational stories.

In a recent instance, an Aug. 15 Instagram video showed a screenshot of an Aug. 9 article with the headline, "Military Arrests Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla."

The article said the U.S. Marine Corps arrested Bourla and killed two bodyguards during a military-sanctioned operation, citing a source from the office of Gen. Eric M. Smith, the Marine Corps’ assistant commandant. 

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

In an email to PolitiFact, Pfizer’s media relations team described the claims as false.

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If Bourla had been arrested or captured by the military, it would surely make news. But we found no such news reports or press releases. Bourla’s name is not listed among federal prison inmates. And though the article said Bourla was captured in Newport Beach, his name was not listed among the inmates of Orange County, California, either.

This is no surprise as the claim originated on Real Raw News, a website with a disclaimer that says it "contains humor, parody and satire." PolitiFact has debunked dozens of claims from the website, which often involve claims that politicians and other personalities have been arrested. 

The site is operated by Michael Tuffin, who previously ran at least three other sites and associated YouTube channels that promoted conspiracy theories, a PolitiFact investigation showed.

Bourla’s latest tweet was Aug. 14, five days after the claim was posted.

PolitiFact asked the U.S. Marines for a comment on this claim but received no response.

We rate the claim that the Marines arrested Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla Pants on Fire!

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No proof that the Marines ‘captured’ Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla

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