Fact Check

Military Arrests Creator of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine?

This is not the first time — and it's not likely to be the last time — Real Raw News claimed the military arrest of vaccine creators.

Published Sept. 1, 2023

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Image Via Getty Images
Claim:
Melissa J. Moore, the chief scientific officer for Moderna, was arrested by U.S. Navy JAG investigators.

On Aug. 30, 2023, the website Real Raw News published yet another in a seemingly endless series of stories claiming that the "military" had arrested an individual associated with the so-called deep state. The alleged criminal, in this case, was Melissa J. Moore, the chief scientific officer of mRNA technology for the COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna:

In a nonsensical story that had Moore flee from authorities and reach into her pocket to pull out a "clot shot" syringe before being arrested, Real Raw News asserted that Moore knew the shot was not safe and pushed for FDA approval anyway:

A prominent Moderna chemist, Melissa J. Moore, was arrested at her Everett, Massachusetts, home Sunday evening after trying to evade U.S. Navy JAG investigators who had been surveilling the residence and awaiting an opportunity to serve a military arrest warrant, a JAG adjunct told Real Raw News. [...]

[The JAG adjunct] explained that JAG started building a case against Moore in January 2023, a few months after hanging her former employer, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel, at Guantanamo Bay. 

JAG unearthed personal correspondence in which Bancel heralded Moore as the "Queen of mRNA." [...] In response to Bancel's flattering communique, Moore said that "history will eventually report that human guinea pigs are necessary to advance revolutionary medicine" and admitted the company's vaccine was a colossal killer: "If it kills three million to save three billion, I've done my job. 

I have the utmost reverence for human life, but martyrs must be made in the name of science," to which Bancel replied, "There will be no martyrs because we will attribute their deaths to the disease." [...] Although knowing the vaccine was lethal and had killed trial participants, she convinced the FDA to grant emergency use authorization to the mRNA-1273 clot shot.

Real Raw News produces what it describes as satirical content. A disclaimer on the site reads:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on [sic] legal counsel.

There is no other report suggesting such an arrest, which the Navy would have had no authority to make, has taken place. Further, it is important to note that there is no evidence that Stéphane Bancel, the Moderna CEO, was hanged at Guantanamo Bay, as claimed in the article. On Aug 3., 2023, Bancel participated in a Q2 earnings call with Moderna investors. 

Real Raw News writes this same general story with prolific frequency: 

Because the only outlet reporting the arrest of Moore was a website with a satire disclaimer and history of publishing bogus claims about military arrests, Snopes rates the claim as Labeled Satire. 

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.

Sources

About Us | Real Raw News. https://realrawnews.com/about-us/. Accessed 1 Sept. 2023.

Baxter, Michael. Military Arrests Moderna Clot Shot Creator. 30 Aug. 2023, https://realrawnews.com/2023/08/military-arrests-moderna-clot-shot-creator/.

Moderna Appoints Melissa J. Moore, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer of Moderna's mRNA Research Platform. https://investors.modernatx.com/news/news-details/2016/Moderna-Appoints-Melissa-J.-Moore-Ph.D.-as-Chief-Scientific-Officer-of-Modernas-mRNA-Research-Platform/default.aspx. Accessed 1 Sept. 2023.

"Q2 2023 Moderna Inc Earnings Call." Yahoo Finance, 4 Aug. 2023, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/q2-2023-moderna-inc-earnings-022130324.html.
 

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.