Moderna Secretly Polices COVID ‘Vaccine Misinformation’ to Control Narrative: Investigative Report

A new report shows Moderna is using former law enforcement, FBI and Secret Service analysts, and pharma-funded NGOs to control the COVID-19 vaccine debate.

Moderna’s disinformation department is policing what it calls “vaccine misinformation” online in order to silence dissenting voices and anything that might undermine COVID-19-related policies such as lockdowns, vaccine passports, and mass vaccination.

According to an exclusive report published on November 20 in UnHerd by investigative journalists Lee Fang and Jack Poulson, Moderna isn’t just manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines; it also has an entire team dedicated to monitoring a wide range of social media platforms, government agencies, and news websites in the name of addressing the “root cause of vaccine hesitancy” by identifying and “shutting down misinformation” that may negatively affect the vaccine debate.
Internal documents show a “sprawling effort to monitor basically everything said online, on social media, and in the news media about vaccine policy, COVID policy, about Moderna, and other vaccine companies,” Mr. Fang told The Hill.

Monitoring Team of Former FBI, Secret Service, and Pharma-Funded NGOs

According to the investigative report, Moderna’s monitoring team includes its Global Intelligence division, led by Nikki Rutman, who was involved in compiling internal company misinformation reports of “high-risk” celebrities critical of vaccine mandates, such as unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic, Elon Musk, and actor Russell Brand.

Ms. Rutman worked as an intelligence analyst in the United States intelligence community for nearly 19 years before joining “Moderna’s corporate security team” in 2022. Ms. Rutman worked from the FBI’s Boston office during the COVID-19 pandemic and “Operation Warp Speed,” which included weekly cybersecurity meetings with Moderna, which is also based in Boston, according to the report.

Prior to joining the FBI, Ms. Rutman worked as a “adviser on terrorism to a mission manager” for the Director of National Intelligence and as a counterintelligence analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Ms. Rutman is just one of many former law enforcement officers on Moderna’s monitoring team, which also includes the Public Good Projects (PGP), a drug industry-funded NGO, and Talkwalker, an artificial intelligence firm that uses its technology to monitor vaccine-related discussions across 150 million websites in nearly 200 countries.

Mr. Fang describes PGP as a “anti-misinformation NGO” funded by a $1,275,000 donation from the Biotechnology and Innovation Organization—lobbyists for Pfizer and Moderna—that collaborates with social media platforms, government agencies, and news websites to classify and combat alleged vaccine misinformation.

“We know from a separate batch of documents—the Twitter files—that I reported earlier this year, that the same partners that are working with Moderna—PGP and some of these other NGOs—had a direct line to Twitter’s executives, and they also worked with Google and Facebook to shape content moderation policies,” Mr. Fang said in an interview with The Hill.

According to Mr. Fang, these Moderna-funded NGOs were pressuring social media companies to change their content moderation policies, as well as delete and “de-amplify” specific tweets critical of coercive vaccine policies. “They were actually sending entire Excel documents with tweets they wanted censored,” he went on to say.

According to Talkwalker’s website, it is a “social listening and consumer intelligence platform” that assists pharmaceutical companies by providing a variety of services such as “above brand monitoring” and “misinformation detection.” Neither PGP nor Talkwalker have publicly stated how they define “misinformation” or who decides whether a person’s speech falls into this category. Mr. Fang and Mr. Poulson, on the other hand, claim that these organizations, along with marketing executives and former FBI and Secret Service analysts, provide Moderna with misinformation alerts.
“None of the reports that we have seen makes any attempt to dispute the claims made,” Mr. Fang and Mr. Poulson wrote. “Rather, the claims are automatically deemed “misinformation” if they encourage vaccine hesitancy.”
Moderna has provided talking points and advice to a network of 45,000 healthcare professionals—unbeknownst to their patients—on “how to respond when vaccine misinformation goes mainstream,” according to an email from Moderna.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration and a Stanford University professor of medicine, called Mr. Fang and Mr. Poulson’s report “absolute fire.”
“Moderna, thru the Public Goods Project, pays thousands of health professionals to attack and defame vaccine critics and push social media to censor anyone who says things, true or false, that reduce profits,” Dr. Bhattacharya wrote in a post on

Moderna Censors Legitimate Discussion About Vaccines

Moderna is not simply highlighting “misinformation” that it considers a “danger to public health.” According to Mr. Fang and Mr. Poulson, it distinguishes between legitimate discussion of vaccine-related issues and mere criticism of vaccine companies.
Moderna’s misinformation reports, for example, rate news about Novak Djokovic as “high risk.” Mr. Djokovic developed natural immunity after contracting SARS-CoV-2 and refused to be vaccinated, preventing him from competing in the 2022 US Open. When mandates were lifted in 2023, he returned and won the Moderna-sponsored competition. Vaccine opponents, according to Moderna, were celebrating his victory, and social media users were “mockingly” pointing out that Moderna was a US Open sponsor.
The “optics of Djokovic” bolsters “anti-vaccine claims that vaccines—and mandates—are unnecessary,” according to a Moderna internal report titled “Djokovic Crowned Anti-vaccine Hero after US Open Win.”

Mr. Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, Inc., and owner of “X,” was also labeled “high risk” because he mocked the media and government officials who falsely claimed COVID-19 vaccines were 100 percent effective. The report by Moderna found no false statements. Nonetheless, it expressed concern that highlighting “deception by health authorities and health care providers during the pandemic” would “lay the groundwork to sow distrust in credible sources on vaccine safety and effectiveness.” In other words, Moderna flagged the video not because it was incorrect, but because it negatively influenced public discourse about COVID-19 vaccines.

Although some of the tweets flagged by Moderna’s disinformation team were legitimate misinformation, Mr. Fang told The Hill that many were “genuine points of disagreement around coercive vaccine policy,” such as vaccine passports and mandates.

Another Moderna report cited an Oct. 5 post on X in which Mr. Musk expressed his opposition to vaccine mandates. According to the report, “Musk has one of the world’s largest platforms—literally and figuratively.” He is increasingly using that platform to elevate anti-vaccination activists and conspiracy theorists.”

“These mandates had no effect on increasing vaccination rates.” It resulted in the layoff or dismissal of tens of thousands of Americans. “These were contentious policies that were ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court,” Mr. Fang explained.

“This is not an area of misinformation that required censorship.” “This was a legitimate area of public debate centered on a highly contentious and novel application of public policy that benefited only a small number of corporations,” he added. “Essentially, the government is forcing you to buy a product and use it in your body.” This is a matter of bodily autonomy—a public health issue that deserves more, not less, scrutiny.”

Russell Brand, a critic of pharmaceutical companies, was also singled out for claiming that Moderna and Pfizer profited $1,000 per second from the pandemic because his views are “circulated in anti-vaccine spaces where he is viewed as a truth-teller and threat to authority,” according to the report.

“Where this is potentially problematic is that if you look closely at these misinformation reports, they are clearly blurring the line between fighting actual disinformation—intentional lies—and classifying legitimate points of discussion around vaccine policy as dangerous misinformation,” Fang said in a statement to The Hill. “They’re taking kind of a broad brush and painting any kind of criticism of their company vaccines as dangerous misinformation.”

Other misinformation alerts, according to Moderna emails, have focused on drug industry profits, vaccine hesitancy, competitor issues, and Pfizer discussions. Moderna also closely monitors elected officials who are opposed to coercive vaccination policies and laws that limit vaccine mandates. “Politicians attempting to ban COVID-19 mandates—or claiming to do so—indicates growing opposition to COVID-19 mitigations,” according to one of the Moderna alerts.

Moderna Ramps up Marking Efforts as Profit Dwindles

Moderna’s earnings have decreased as demand for COVID-19 vaccines has decreased. Moderna, unlike Pfizer, was a 2010 startup with no approved product prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the development of its COVID-19 vaccine, it went from a struggling biotech company to a “household name” valued at more than $100 billion in 2021. Mr. Fang told The Hill that the pandemic resulted in the creation of five new billionaires at Moderna alone.
Moderna earned $18.5 billion in 2021 and $19.3 billion in total revenue in 2022, according to company financial reports. It only made $3.9 billion in the third quarter of this year.
Moderna must now pay royalties to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which was previously led by Dr. Anthony Fauci, in addition to lost profits and reduced demand, because NIAID scientists collaborated with Moderna to develop its COVID-19 vaccine. As a result, according to the investigative report, Moderna increased the price of its vaccine from $15-$26 per dose to $130 per dose.
Moderna’s European patent on mRNA vaccine technology was also recently invalidated by the European Patent Office. In 2022, Moderna filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Germany, alleging that Pfizer and BioNTech stole its mRNA vaccine technology. The company asked for a payment based on vaccine sales during the pandemic, which exceeded $35 billion in 2022 alone. Pfizer and BioNTech, on the other hand, sued Moderna and won. Although Moderna intends to appeal the ruling, a monetary award would have been substantial.
Moderna is relying on a “flashy new marketing campaign” highlighting its mRNA technology and its ability to unlock cures for all types of diseases, as well as efforts to rebrand its COVID-19 vaccine as a symbol of a healthy lifestyle, as profits dwindle.
“What matters most to Moderna is that people continue to get their jabs. Smart advertisements are a component of this. “However, it is more important to respond aggressively to any prevailing anti-vax narrative and to participate in any discussions about vaccine policy,” Mr. Fang and Mr. Poulson wrote. “That’s where the Moderna disinformation department comes in.”

Moderna has been contacted for comment by The Epoch Times.

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