A viral claim suggesting that Moderna CEO StÃ©phane Bancel suddenly 'dumped' $400 million worth of the company's stock over worries that it was about to lose value because of "bad news" is found to be false. The claim also suggested that Bancel deleted his Twitter account.
Recently, shares of Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna and Novavax Stocks a dip.
Is Moderna Anticipating a "Bad News"?
The claim was fuelled by an article published on Newspunch on February 12. The article headlined 'Moderna CEO Just Dumped $400 Million in Stock and Deleted His Twitter Account' claimed that the 'sudden' move came after investigations into the death statistics were launched.
"The Moderna CEO's strange moves came shortly after a former Blackrock executive began investigating the death statistics from insurance companies and funeral homes. Edward Dowd is a former hedge fund manager who started digging into death statistics from insurance companies and funeral homes. He also started accusing Pfizer and Moderna of fraud in the vaccine clinical trials," read the article.
Soon the social media users were talking about the same. "That toxic mRNA would fail EVERY human trial criteria...this is why Pfizer have been fighting to restrict the trial data being released. The Moderna CEO just sold 400million in stock and deleted his twitter account," tweeted a user.
"Bless your heart. You don't understand reality and the Moderna CEO selling $400 million in stock and deleting his Twitter after insurance company investors started digging in to unusual deaths in the US under 60 in the last year. What changed last year? Any guesses?" read another tweet.
"I think that Moderna CEO is the one who has sold all of his stock in the company. What does he know that his victims don't know?" questioned a user.
Here is the Truth
Debunking the claim made in the article, Snopes reported that Bancel did not "dump" $400 million worth of Moderna stock all at once in February 2022, but sold less than $10 million worth of shares by mid-month.
Claiming that the shares were sold at predetermined times and had nothing to do with current events, the outlet reported that the Moderna CEO had been selling a very small portion of his shares on a nearly weekly basis for years. "These sales, in accordance with Rule 10b5-1 of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, were done at predetermined times to prevent insider trading," it stated.
Further, it also clarified that Bancel's Twitter handle, @sbancel, which was deleted in February, was a personal account that was rarely used by the CEO.