By: Laura Vitelli
January 26 2023
The claim relies on a deliberate misrepresentation of an unrelated quote from an interview first shared six months before.
In the week of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting, social media users claimed that the WEF is only allowing flight crew unvaccinated against COVID-19 to staff flights to Davos.
This claim is often made alongside a clip from a video interview by Australian conspiracy influencer and vaccine skeptic Maria Zeee. In the video, a former airline pilot named Alan Dana states that Josh Yoder (identified as a co-founder of the U.S. Freedom Flyers) has received calls from wealthy people in business requesting unvaccinated pilots and flight crew members on their business jets.
The claim is false. The claim originated on NewsPunch in an article that misquotes Dana's interview and states that "Davos elites" were contacting Yoder and seeking unvaccinated pilots. In a statement on his Twitter feed on January 15, 2023, Yoder himself wrote, "I never said that the WEF/Davos has reached out looking for unvaccinated pilots. What I did say was that wealthy businessmen have reached out to me for that purpose." The interview from which the clip is drawn was posted online in July 2022, six months before the 2023 meeting of the WEF forum in Davos. This means that the business jet flights Dana refers to in the clip are unlikely to be the ones flying corporate representatives to Davos this month.
Maria Zeee, the interviewer, is known for platforming and promoting individuals associated with anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. In the interview, Zeee and Dana discuss the aims and concerns of the Aussie Freedom Flyers, an association of Australian commercial airline pilots and flight crew formed in opposition to the vaccine mandates instituted by many airlines throughout the pandemic. At the time of the interview, Dana and other Aussie Freedom Flyers were filing a lawsuit against Virgin and Qantas airlines, claiming that they had been unlawfully dismissed based on their refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The suit has not been successful. Several of the defendant's lawyers and the presiding judge have described the claimants' legal pleas as "unclear" and "scrambled."
The claim that the WEF requires unvaccinated pilots to transport its members to Davos is false and relies on a deliberate misrepresentation of an old, unrelated quote. The individual named as the source of the claim has spoken out against this misrepresentation. Therefore, the claim has been marked as false.