Rand Paul Corners Moderna CEO Over Side Effects, Reveals What Company President Told Him in Secret


In this corner, weighing in with intense gravitas, is ophthalmologist and Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul: “You sit here and act as if you’ve never heard of myocarditis … when all of the studies … have found that yes, there’s an increased risk after taking your vaccine.”

His opponent, weighing in with oblique corporate-speak, is COVID-19 vaccine producer Moderna Corp. Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel: “Let me say we care deeply about safety.”

They were facing each other during a hearing of the U.S. Senate Health, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Wednesday.

As the first round began, Paul aggressively went at Bancel with a claim of conflict of interest. Moderna, the senator said, gave the National Institute of Health $400 million, yet that agency determines the number of vaccinations to be administered.

A brief dodge by Bancel: “Good morning, Senator,” he said before trying to deflect the blow by saying the $400 million went to “another pattern they develop, not related to COVID.”

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While the money can be used for COVID, according to the CEO, “It’s for the U.S. government to say how the money should be spent.”

Paul ignored the dodge, again throwing the same type of punch by reiterating the idea of a conflict of interest for the Moderna-funded NIH to say “how often we have to take the vaccine to also be making money [for Moderna] the more times we take the vaccine.”

The Moderna chief dodged again: “This is for the government to decide.”

Paul disregarded Bancel’s footwork and continued to bore in, asking if there are higher incidences of myocarditis among males 16-to-24-year-olds who took Moderna’s COVID shot.

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“Thank you for the question, Senator. First, let me say we care deeply about safety and working closely with the CDC and FDA,” Bancel said, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration.

Paul cut him off: “Pretty much a yes or no. Is there a higher incidence of myocarditis among boys 16-24 after they take the vaccine?”

Bancel feinted: “The data from the CDC have shown that there is less myocarditis for people who get the vaccine versus who gets the COVID infection.”

Paul questioned that claim: “You’re saying that for ages 16 to 24, among males who take the COVID vaccine, their risk of myocarditis is less than people who get the disease.”

Bancel: “That is my understanding, sir.”

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“That is not true,” the senator said, going in for a heavy combo. “I would like to enter into the record six peer-reviewed papers … that say the complete opposite of what you say.”

“I also spoke with your president just last week and he readily acknowledged in private that yes, there is increased risk of myocarditis,” Paul said, referring to Dr. Stephen Hoge.

“The fact that you can’t say it in public is quite disturbing,” he said.

If this were a real prize fight, by now the officials would have stopped it. But Paul continued, asking if it was “scientifically sound” to require three vaccines for boys.

Bancel’s French accent made his response somewhat unintelligible, but he indicated it was for the public or for people to decide. It was, nevertheless, a classic non-answer.

The senator was having none of it, saying the CEO or at least Moderna had been advocating for booster shots and myocarditis was most common after a second shot.

Paul said in his private discussion with Hoge, the Moderna president said that perhaps there should be a discussion to determine if there should be only one COVID dose.

Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins agreed with limiting it to one shot, he said, yet the CDC has a “ridiculous notion” of multiple vaccinations.

“Your 16-year-old’s had COVID,” Paul asked hypothetically. “Your 16-year-old gets better and now has recovered from COVID. You vaccinate them and they get myocarditis. Are you gonna give them two more vaccines — your child – give them two more vaccines?”

“I’m not a clinician,” Bancel responded, “I would have to discuss …”

“You have children!” Paul said. “Have you vaccinated your children?”

“I have.”

“How many times?”

“Three or four times,” the Moderna CEO said.

Paul responded with laughter, noting that such a practice is recommended by the CDC and that Bancel was obviously “self-interested” in multiple vaccinations.

He then said that according to the CDC, if a young person gets COVID, gets vaccinated, is seriously sick and ends up hospitalized with myocarditis, that individual should, upon recovery from myocardidis, get vaccinated again.

“You know how many American parents think that’s a rational, reasonable thing to do?” Paul sarcastically asked, listing countries not offering the vaccine for children. He indicated he agreed with COVID vaccination for children only if they have a real medical risk.

But with what the senator described as “half the world” not vaccinating children, he addressed Bancel:

“You sit here and act as if you’ve never heard of myocarditis and you don’t think it’s an increased risk for young adolescent males when all of the studies who isolate out people by age have found that, yes, there’s an increased risk after taking your vaccine — Pfizer, too, but worse with Moderna.”

Paul said the CDC will attempt to force vaccination on all U.S. children through the schools.

“But guess what. Parents aren’t going to do it,” he said. “They’ve seen that COVID is not deadly in children and you’re right, it’s become less deadly over time. Your market’s going down. So you’re not going to make as much money.

“I’m all for you making money in an honest way, but I don’t like the idea that the people making decisions in government are also receiving money and are now conflicted in their interest.”

Ding ding ding!

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Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.
Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.