Gates did not anticipate that the pandemic would turn him into a center of attention for COVID-19 conspiracy theories, citing misinformation circulating in social media.
Bill Gates Denies the Chip Conspiracy
In a surprising turn in his life, Bill Gates did not fully expect to be the focal center of misinformation-much less during the covid-19 pandemic amidst his efforts to contribute.
From a Twitter interview initiated by the chair of global public health at Edinburgh University Medical School and director of the Global Health Governance Programme, Devic Sridhar, Gates addressed the problems brought about by social media today.
Sridhar asked Gates, "One major problem has been online misinformation on Facebook & other platforms around vaccines, masks, and other interventions - how do we deal with this challenge?"
Gates said health organizations, including the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, need to obtain more resources and expand them to recognize and communicate better regarding the covid-19 pandemic.
He also added that social media platforms like Facebook "got behind" promoting factual information.
People like you and I and Tony Fauci have been subject to a lot of misinformation. I didn't expect that. Some of it like me putting chips in arms doesn't make sense to me - why would I want to do that?#— Bill Gates (@BillGates) January 11, 2022
As recalled, some conspiracy theories accuse Gates of funding COVID-19 so that he can implant tracking microchips into people's bodies during mass vaccinations during the pandemic.
These theories spread rapidly on social media platforms during the early rounds of the pandemic.
In defense, Bill Gates went on to say that he, Sridhar, and Fauci have become the center of attention regarding misinformation that rattled social media and that he didn't expect that.
"Some of it like me putting chips in arms doesn't make sense to me - why would I want to do that?" Gates added in a tweet.
Fact-checking organizations like Snopes and Full Fact have already debunked the conspiracy theories.
On the other hand, Gates addressed that the pandemic has posed a huge setback in health and other goals. The billionaire also accused rich countries of failing to focus on the needs of developing countries as they should have been and hopes to reverse the trend.
As a final question, Sridhar asked Gates how and when he thinks the pandemic will end, the new cases tied with the omicron variant, and if the world can 'live with covid.'
To conclude, the billionaire said omicron and other dangerous variants yet to be found would severely challenge countries, with the unvaccinated experiencing the worst.
Bill Gates also praised scientists for their contributions to recognizing emerging variants of the covid-19 and suggest a yearly shot against the virus.
Gates' Covid-19 Response
During the height of the pandemic in April 2020, the Gates Foundation contributed a total of $250 million as a response to COVID-19.
The foundation pledged its entire participation to end the COVID-19 by supporting response frameworks, helping developing countries, funding and developing tests, treatments, and vaccines for everyone to access.
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Written by Thea Felicity