FACT CHECK: Does Donald Trump ‘Own Half Of Moderna’?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

A viral Instagram post claims former President Donald Trump “owns half of Moderna.”

Verdict: False

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings for Moderna and Trump’s most recent financial disclosure show he does not own 50 percent of Moderna. A spokesperson for Moderna also refuted the claim.

Fact Check:

Moderna Inc., a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company, developed a COVID-19 vaccine that received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for adults in December 2020. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have also been respectively authorized for emergency use by the FDA, according to the agency’s website.

An image alleges in an Instagram post that Trump “owns half of Moderna,” adding, “Let that sink in Qtards.” The claim, however, doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. (RELATED: Does The Moderna Vaccine Contain Luciferin?)

Publicly available financial information about Moderna shows no indication that Trump holds a 50-percent stake in the company. The company’s most recent DEF-14A, an SEC filing required to be sent whenever a shareholder vote is needed, does not list Trump among its executive officers, directors and director nominees or among the beneficial owners of more than 5 percent of Moderna stock. Moderna’s most recent 10-K filing, an annual report that provides a comprehensive overview of the company’s financials, briefly discusses some actions the Trump administration took that affected the company but otherwise contains nothing that would suggest Trump holds a 50-percent ownership stake.

It appears that no single entity owns half of Moderna. The company’s largest stockholder is the investment management company Ballie Gifford & Co, which has just over an 11-percent stake, according to Moderna’s most recent DEF-14A and CNN Business.

There is also no evidence of Trump holding a significant ownership stake in Moderna in his most recent financial disclosure from January 2021. While much of his wealth is, according to Forbes, in real estate, the financial disclosure shows that included in his other holdings are three family trusts that are themselves invested in various funds.

Check Your Fact didn’t find Moderna listed among the top 10 equity holdings for any of the funds identified in Trump’s most recent financial disclosure. At least two of the funds appear to have Moderna stock in their portfolios, but those holdings make up less than 1 percent of the funds’ assets. The Moderna holdings in those funds do not constitute direct ownership by Trump.

When asked about the Instagram post’s claim, Moderna spokesperson Colleen Hussey told Check Your Fact via email, “This is not accurate.” Check Your Fact sent a request for comment to Trump’s office and will update this article if a response is provided.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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