Stand up for facts and support PolitiFact.

Now is your chance to go on the record as supporting trusted, factual information by joining PolitiFact’s Truth Squad. Contributions or gifts to PolitiFact, which is part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Poynter Institute, are tax deductible.

More Info

I would like to contribute

A sign marks an entrance to a Moderna, Inc., building, Monday, May 18, 2020, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP) A sign marks an entrance to a Moderna, Inc., building, Monday, May 18, 2020, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP)

A sign marks an entrance to a Moderna, Inc., building, Monday, May 18, 2020, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP)

By Patrick Orsagos August 13, 2020

Conspiracy about Moderna, Gates, Epstein, Fauci and Soros is wrong

If Your Time is short

  • The connections the post claims are wrong. Fauci is more than 14 years older than Gates and had already graduated from Cornell and was working at the NIH when Gates was in college.

  • Gates did not attend Cornell and did not room with Fauci.

  • IG Farben is not connected to Moderna.

  • Fauci was never CEO of Moderna.

  • Epstein was not the primary stockholder of Moderna when he died.

In an online conspiracy circulating on Facebook, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, billionaire investor George Soros, and financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein are all linked in the ongoing pursuit of a coronavirus vaccine. 

An Aug. 2 post lists a series of accusations against the four men and claims their partnership was decades in the making. 

"As many of you heard, Moderna is in stage 3 of their vaccine testing. If all goes well it'll become federal law to get the vaccine," the post begins. Then follows a series of unfounded claims, including:

  • Fauci was the first CEO of Moderna.

  • Fauci and Gates were roommates at Cornell.

  • "It was at Cornell that Bill Gates designed the RFID (Radio-frequency identification) and patented it under US2006257852."

  • "Moderna was a pharmaceutical company that started in Germany under the name IG Farben. IG Farben is infamous for it's mass production of Zyklon-B, the primary gas used to kill millions during the Holocaust."

  • After World War II, IG Farben was "dissolved and its assets sold off by a Nazi turned American by the name of, you guessed it, George Soros."

  • "Soros rebranded the company as Moderna."

  • Jeffrey Epstein was "primary stockholder of Moderna until his death...His role in Moderna is where he made his fortune and established his connections."

"Let that sink in," the post ends.

It 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.) 

This post is filled with many accusations, none of them accurate. Let’s take them one by one:

Featured Fact-check

Moderna Inc. has no link to IG Farben

No, Massachusetts-based biotech company Moderna Inc. does not trace its lineage to Germany. It was founded in 2010 with the mission of studying a technology known as mRNA to develop new pharmaceuticals and launched operations in 2011. Moderna is in phase 3 of a clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine.

IG Farben––formally known in German as Interessengemeinschaft Farbenindustrie Aktiengesellschaft––was a chemical and pharmaceutical conglomerate established in 1925 and made up of four other German companies: BASF Aktiengesellschaft, Bayer AG, Hoechst Aktiengesellschaft, and Agfa-Gevaert Group, according to Encyclopedia Britannica

The company did create a synthetic oil and rubber plant in Auschwitz and used inmates for drug experiments during World War II, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. But after the war, the Allied powers charged top executives with war crimes, and the company was divided into three: Hoechst, Bayer and BASF.

We find no indication that IG Farben has any connection to Moderna. Moderna did not respond to our inquiries.

Anthony Fauci was never CEO of Moderna

Anthony Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the National Institutes of Health has taken a leading public role in the coronavirus pandemic. He was never CEO of Moderna. He graduated from Weill Cornell Medical College in 1966 and began working for the NIAID two years after graduating, according to multiple sources including the Cornell Daily Sun and the NIH.

He has spent the rest of his career in the public sector. Fauci was named director of the institute in 1984 and has overseen research to prevent, diagnose and treat HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis and malaria. 

Gates and Fauci roomies? No.

Gates and Fauci were not roommates at Cornell. First, Fauci was 14 when Gates was born in 1955. Second, Gates didn’t attend Cornell. He studied for two years at Harvard University beginning in 1973. By that time, Fauci was already working for the NIH. Gates later dropped out of Harvard and founded Microsoft.

RELATED: No, Fauci wasn’t on the Clinton Foundation board for two decades

Facts wrong on radio-frequency ID tag

Gates also didn’t have a role in patenting the radio-frequency identification tag chips mentioned in the post. Mario Cardullo was the first to patent the tag in 1973.  And while the patent number "US2006257852" cited in the post is a real patent, it’s not for the RFID tag. It’s a patent related to the disease known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS).

Soros was not a Nazi

PolitiFact, along with other fact-checkers, has debunked claims that George Soros was a Nazi. Soros survived the Holocaust. When the Nazis invaded Hungary, Soros’ father obtained a false identity for Soros and sent him to live with an agricultural official who passed him off as his Christian godson, according to the New York Times. Soros also did not buy the assets of IG Farben and disguise the company under Moderna. In 1945, when the Allied powers split up IG Farben, Soros was a teenager.  

Jeffrey Epstein not a primary Moderna stockholder 

Epstein began working at Bear Stearns in 1976 and was promoted to partner in 1980, according to the Miami Herald. In 1982, he opened his own money management firm called J Epstein and Co., where he "would manage the individual and family fortunes of clients with $1 billion or more," according to a 2002 New York Magazine profile on Epstein. In the late 1990s, he renamed the firm to Financial Trust Company and moved the headquarters to the U.S. Virgin Islands to receive a tax break, according to the New York Times

When Moderna was established in 2010, Epstein was serving a one-year probation after being convicted of sex offenses in 2008, contrary to the post. In 2012, he created a start-up business, Southern Trust, to develop algorithms and mine DNA and financial databases, according to the New York Times. The company managed to pay a tax rate of about 3.9% after generating a $300 million profit in 2013, and its corporate filings show no clients, according to the article. He would also start his own international bank, but it’s unclear whether it had any customers. 

Neither Epstein, nor his management firm, are listed as one of the primary stockholders in Moderna, according to CNN Business and the Wall Street Journal. We found no indication that Epstein was one of the primary stockholders in Moderna when he died on Aug. 10, 2019. He was awaiting trial for federal sex trafficking charges when he committed suicide in his prison cell. 

Our ruling 

A Facebook post claims that the vaccine developer Moderna is connected to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, George Soros and Jeffrey Epstein. But none of the supposed connections are founded. We rate this Pants on Fire. 

Our Sources

Facebook, post, Aug. 2, 2020 

Snopes, Is Moderna Tied to Fauci, Gates, Soros and Epstein, Aug. 1, 2020 

Snopes, Was George Soros an SS Officer or Nazi Collaborator During World War II?, Nov. 28, 2016

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Phase 3 Clinical Trial of Investigational Vaccine for COVID-19 Begins, July 27, 2020 

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci biography, accessed Aug. 7, 2020 

National Institutes of Health, Director’s Page, accessed Aug. 11, 2020

Encyclopedia Britannica, IG Farben, accessed Aug. 7, 2020   

Cornell Daily Sun, How Cornell’s Dr. Anthony Fauci Became America’s Became America’s Most Trusted Disease Expert, March 23, 2020 

GatesNotes, Bill Gates biography, accessed Aug. 7, 2020 

RFID Journal, Genesis of the Versatile RFID Tag, April 21, 2003 

PubChem, Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (patent), accessed Aug. 7, 2020

PolitiFact, No, Fauci wasn’t on the Clinton Foundation board for two decades, May 19, 2020 

PolitiFact, Viral Photo of SS officer is not George Soros, Oct. 31, 2018 

PoltiiFact, No George Soros is not a Nazi who funds antifa, Aug. 6, 2020 

PolitiFact, No, George Soros wasn’t a Nazi soldier, Feb. 10, 2020 

Business Inside, The life of Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender and well-connected financier who died in jail awaiting sex trafficking charges, Aug. 10, 2019 

CNN Money, Moderna Inc Shareholders, accessed Aug. 7, 2020

NBC, Scientists Race to Patent SARS virus, Nov. 4, 2003 

ScienceMag.org, Meet the company that has just begun testing a coronavirus vaccine in the United States, March 25, 2020

Associated Press, Photo depicting George Soros as Nazi soldier untrue, Oct. 22, 2018

New York Times, George Soros Bet Big on Liberal Democracy. Now He Fears He is Losing, July 17, 2018 

New York Times, The Business World; IG Farben: a Lingering Relif of the Nazi Years, May 2, 1999 

New York Times, Jeffrey Epstein Raked in $200 Million After Legal and Financial Crisis, Oct. 3, 2019 

New York Times, Jeffrey Epstein's Mystery Bank Came Alive After His Death, Feb. 4, 2020 

Miami Herald, How Jeffrey Epstein launched a life of riches, depravity, July 16, 2019

Miami Herald, For years, Jeffrey Epstein abused teen girls, police say. A timeline of his case, Nov. 28, 2018 

New York Magazine, Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery, Oct. 28, 2002

Wall Street Journal, MRNA Moderna Inc., accessed Aug. 11, 2020 

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Patrick Orsagos

Conspiracy about Moderna, Gates, Epstein, Fauci and Soros is wrong

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up