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'Crazy and evil': Bill Gates surprised by pandemic conspiracies

56 Comments
By Kate Kelland

Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist Bill Gates says he has been taken aback by the volume of "crazy" and "evil" conspiracy theories about him spreading on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic, but said on Wednesday he would like to explore what is behind them.

In an interview with Reuters, Gates said the millions of online posts and "crazy conspiracy theories" about him and about top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci had likely taken hold in part because of the combination of a frightening viral pandemic and the rise of social media.

"Nobody would have predicted that I and Dr. Fauci would be so prominent in these really evil theories," Gates said. "I'm very surprised by that. I hope it goes away."

Gates, a billionaire who stepped down as chairman of Microsoft Corp in 2014, has through his philanthropic Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation committed at least $1.75 billion to the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes support for some makers of vaccines, diagnostics and potential treatments.

Since the pandemic began a year ago, millions of conspiracies have spread over the Internet, fueling misinformation about the coronavirus, its origins and the motives of those working to fight it.

They include claims that Fauci and Gates created the pandemic to try and control people, that they want to profit from the virus' spread, and that they want to use vaccines to insert trackable microchips into people.

"But do people really believe that stuff?," Gates asked.

"We're really going to have to get educated about this over the next year and understand .. how does it change peoples' behavior and how should we have minimized this?"

Gates praised Fauci and Francis Collins, head of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, as "smart" and "wonderful people", and said he looked forward to seeing them able to work effectively and speak the truth under the new administration of President Joe Biden.

During former President Donald Trump's handling of the pandemic, Gates said, it had "sometimes felt like they were the only sane people in the U.S. government."

"I'm excited about the team that Biden has picked" to tackle the health crisis, Gates said.

Gates said he was also pleased that under Biden, the United States has rejoined the World Health Organization, and "that he's appointed smart people, and the fact that Dr Fauci won't be suppressed."

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

56 Comments

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It’s no surprise that people with lower rates of education (conservatives) buy into untethered conspiracy theories; it’s how they feel smart.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

he would like to explore what is behind them.

'What is behind them' like any complex situation has to be looked at as a dynamic made up of many elements. One of these is scientific publications like The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Nature and others are considered by the conspiracy believing hordes to be written by ‘experts’ in the ‘establishment’, aka the ‘elites’. These ‘e’ groups are the ‘enemies’ (another ‘e’ in their glossary) of the conspiracy believers, many of whom trust what a Qanon shaman or some other wack posts on 8chan instead. 

And it’s not just homegrown wacks. ‘Foreign’ governments have armies of keyboard warriors posting anti-science messages on social media in their attempts to further split and anger groups in the democracies they want to undermine. 

The intellectually vulnerable and others at the margins of society lack the ability to understand what the ‘experts’ say. Instead they opt for some simple explanation like ‘it’s shape shifting alien reptiles’ hiding behind the curtains and pulling the strings. Many of these people probably believe the Marvel comics they read, believe that behind the scenes there’s a cabal of evil forces that’s holding them down. The global far right continue to convince them it’s the ‘e’ groups who are their ‘enemy’.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

people with lower rates of education (conservatives) buy into untethered conspiracy theories; 

In the main that's probably true. But remember privileged class people with degrees from 'elite' universities like Trump, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley have also pushed conspiracy theories.

Remember, too that among the domestic terrorists who followed Trump's directions to attack the capitol to help him steal the election were medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, CEOs and others successful in business.

Lack of education probably is a contributor to believing in conspiracy theories, but anyone whose attended university has been around people who though well educated were totally wack.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

correction above: who's attended

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Whenever I have to use a Windows PC I think Bill Gates is crazy and evil too.

Expect any nanowidgets in his vaccines to use Skype and crash often.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Why should I take health advice from a tech billionaire?

I'd rather listen to my friend who is a nurse and actually studied medicine.

-19 ( +7 / -26 )

Why should I take health advice from a tech billionaire?

I'd rather listen to my friend who is a nurse and actually studied medicine.

But you’re fine with presidents who aren’t politicians.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

I hope it goes away.

Um, Bill, it's not going away. Crazy is the new normal, especially with social media, and especially with a certain political party so desperate for votes they'll even vote one of the crazies into office.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

It is known as the Goebbles effect.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Crazy and evil': Bill Gates surprised by pandemic conspiracies

One problem with the very intelligent is many can’t relate to how stupid a lot of people are. Maybe it’s also partly due to the circles they move in. I’m intellectually closer to the stupid than him, and some of them are my friends, extended family members and acquaintances.

The conspiracy theories surrounding Covid were no surprise to me.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

I think it is similar with people who join cults: they want to feel special, that they belong to a group of "enlighten" persons who know some whatever "truth", may it be a religious thing or some conspiracy theory. And this is also strongly fueled by all the Hollywood movies that have similar plots, Government conspiracies, alien invasions and so on

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Why should I take health advice from a tech billionaire?

When said tech billionnaire has spent the last 20 years working with the best scientists and doctors in the world in order to organize and implement vast vaccination programs in many different countries, contributing to eradicating several deadly diseases, his opinion on pandemics does have much more clout than that of your friend who... is a nurse.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

In the main that's probably true. But remember privileged class people with degrees from 'elite' universities like Trump, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley have also pushed conspiracy theories.

I said education, not a degree from a prestigious institution. Your post demonstrates the fallacy that education only comes from school. With the muppets you listed, we can see that schooling did little to no good.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

> Why should I take health advice from a tech billionaire?

You don’t really think Gayes is dispensing advice from a lack of knowledge, do you? That’s silly.

I'd rather listen to my friend who is a nurse and actually studied medicine.

Nobody is stopping you.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Why is the rise in conspiracy thuff surprising.

Let's face it, I gave up watching USA or most western countries TV and movies a long time ago.

Doesn't matter what is it about in the end the writers will at some point inject some deep conspiracy.

So feed the public a steady diet of conspiracies and eventually those with lower capacity of separating fact from fiction will start seeing them everywhere.

Add to that lower education in certain countries public schools and you get what we are seeing now.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

BB

Trump certainly wasn't a nurse but you listened to him about how Covid-19 is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, Bill Gates is actually very knowledgeable about diseases and pandemics. He hasn't worked full-time at Microsoft for about 15 years now so has had time to do his homework.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

It’s no surprise that people with lower rates of education (conservatives) buy into untethered conspiracy theories; it’s how they feel smart

It is interesting to note that with regards to the USA, it is the states that are controlled by Conservatives that have the worse public education systems but all those incharge are the elite that attended private schools, and ivy league university.

Keeping the population dumb is how they retain power.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Bill Gates and his wife gave a TV interview many years ago where they clearly stated that they have researched and found that the best place to invest their wealth and get the highest return is healthcare.

His "philanthropy" is set up to benefit his own foundation.

Watch these two videos and then make up your mind about the men and his goals:

Meet Bill Gates by James Corbett :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSvhPnUgyz8&ab_channel=corbettreport

Who is Bill Gates:

https://www.corbettreport.com/?s=bill+gates

His father was the head of Planned Parenthood.

He's been openly taking about reducing the world's population through birth control methods.

He gave $20M to MIT do develop a "quantum dot tattoo" that is used to inject vaccines and then leave an invisible tattoo on the skin that can be read by a modified smart phone to see the vaccination records of the person.

He gave founding to MIT to develop a birth control chip, that can be placed under the skin and release chemicals that prevent pregnancy..

-20 ( +2 / -22 )

Watch these two videos

No. Youtube videos are not news.

Who is Bill Gates:

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-corbett-report/

Overall, we rate the Corbett Report a Tin Foil Hat conspiracy and Moderate pseudoscience website, based on the promotion of 9/11 conspiracies, False Flags, Chemtrails, and Deep State conspiracies.

Into the trash it goes.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Meet Bill Gates by James Corbett :

Corbett is a firm favourite on here with our resident ‘free thinkers’. He pops up a lot.

Amazing how predictable it all is. I thought getting ‘free thinkers’ to coalesce would be like herding cats.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

And this is also strongly fueled by all the Hollywood movies that have similar plots, Government conspiracies, alien invasions and so on

I agree, a much underrated influence on the gullible who believe The X-Files was a series of documentaries.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

"But do people really believe that stuff?," Gates asked.

I've seen many posts on JT that spread Bill Gates and vaccine misinformation, so it's more widely believed than even he might think.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The X-Files was a series of documentaries.

If it was only that.

Take CSI, NCIS, Hawaii five O, Criminal minds, most started off as police drama and all ended up with some sort of deep state conspiracy, they just couldn't leave it alone and give us a simple police drama.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

You're doing great things Bill - keep it up...

As for the kooks, its just all about the Benjamins - the far-right's attempt to demonize all media outlets other than their own - to get their viewers locked in so they can sell them premium memberships and books by every goofy talking head on the air. Then there's the entertainment factor - news as a form of reality television. Just look at Fox.

Conspiracy theories help them make sense of and displace their own failures - and are like water going down a drain - as one kooky conspiracy theory proves wrong, it just breeds another one even crazier to explain that - which then leads to another, and another...

11 ( +13 / -2 )

As for the kooks, its just all about the Benjamins

I think that Bill Gates, and all similar victims of conspiracy theories, should do what Dominion Systems is doing and simply sue people spreading false information (for their own profit) for billions of dollars.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

His father was the head of Planned Parenthood.

Incorrect. His father was on the board of directors for planned parenthood.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/bill-gates-planned-parenthood/

Why would this be negative? Shouldn’t children be planned instead of accidents?

He's been openly taking about reducing the world's population through birth control methods.

Incorrect.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/bill-gates-vaccinations-depopulation/

https://www.typeinvestigations.org/investigation/2020/05/12/the-long-strange-history-of-bill-gates-population-control-conspiracy-theories/

He gave $20M to MIT do develop a "quantum dot tattoo" that is used to inject vaccines and then leave an invisible tattoo on the skin that can be read by a modified smart phone to see the vaccination records of the person. 

This is negative how?

He gave founding to MIT to develop a birth control chip, that can be placed under the skin and release chemicals that prevent pregnancy..

He funded a startup created by MIT researchers. Again, how is this negative?

Look at all those inaccuracies in a single post.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

@Jsapc

Perhaps you should check your "fact checking" sources.

The Columbia Journalism Review describes Media Bias/Fact Check as an amateur attempt at categorizing media bias and Van Zandt as an "armchair media analyst.

Alexandra Kitty, in a 2018 book on journalism, described MBFC as an apparent "amateur/civic outfit" and wrote that its founder's only qualification was a degree in communications

Corbett on the other hand links all his sources in his videos for you to 'fact check" yourself.

Bill Gates is a self-appointed "health care"expert with ZERO medical background or qualification.

Yet the man goes around the world telling everyone that "normalcy will only return after all 7 billion people have been vaccinated".

How much money has Gates invested in vaccines?

What will his return be on that investment?

Who is Bill Gates to give medical advice to anyone?

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

Perhaps you should check your "fact checking" sources.

Perhaps you should stop watching youtube videos promoting conspiracy theories solely made to make their authors richer and spread disgusting far-right ideas.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/James_Corbett

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Perhaps you should check your "fact checking" sources.

You definitely need to look into facts before posting. I found three inaccuracies in your “Bill Gates is the lizard person leader of the Deep State” post.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Just trying to get my head around this, without attacking anyone particularly.

Jealousy, envy, suspicion, paranoia and hatred, (which always existed in pockets) among the hollowed-out middle and so-called working classes must have come together and gelled into a blob. Cooked under societal, biased mass media and recent market forces? Opinions are dressed up as fact. FACT. The cold indifference of the educated wealthy above the glass ceiling must be easier to 'see' when described as reptilian or lizard-like.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The cold indifference of the educated wealthy above the glass ceiling must be easier to 'see' when described as reptilian or lizard-like.

I spent most of my life disliking Bill Gates when he was at microsoft, but it's hard to speak about his "indifference" when his whole life and most of his money is now dedicated to helping people in the poorest places on earth.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Corbett is a firm favourite on here with our resident ‘free thinkers’. He pops up a lot.

Yeah, Corbett is not funded by Gates, so he provides a more honest view.

Gates has invested lots of money in "health", but he gets several fold back.

There are too many reasons not to trust him.

-18 ( +1 / -19 )

Yes, I see this, Jsap, " his whole life and most of his money is now dedicated to helping people in the poorest places on earth."

But perhaps that looks calculated to the people who feel no direct benefit to themselves, the disenfranchised in the USA for example. In other words, all of Bill's money will never buy love from them, even if it does qualify as the best humanitarian work, garnering approval from many quarters.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Yeah, Corbett is not funded by Gates, so he provides a more honest view.

I'm not funded by Bill Gates. So you can believe that I'm honest when I say: Corbett is a kook.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Yeah, Corbett is not funded by Gates, so he provides a more honest view.

Gates has invested lots of money in "health", but he gets several fold back

Any cites at all, or should we just ask Q?

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I enjoy watching Corbett's "Corbett Report" on occasion as he does more research into things than most main stream journalists do these days. He is also a Canadian living in Japan so we have something in common. However, he is an "anti-masker" as he opposes mask mandates, and other forms of government restrictions during this pandemic, yet he is clearly taking advantage of Japan's mask policies or mask wearing culture (although unenforced) and encouraging others to oppose restrictions (and yet he wouldn't dare to organize an anti-mask parade in Japan). While its clear that masks DO work, all Corbett is doing is prolonging the pandemic in other countries. Moreover, his videos tend to be critical of most things and he seldom offers any solutions to the things he critiques. As far as Bill Gates goes, Corbett is convinced Gates is evil despite all the good Gates has done around the world.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

What’s scary is that what use to be tabloid news is now being promoted as serious world news with the intent to provoke and conjure up certain emotions. And this isn’t by accident.

At the beginning it was all about policing hate speech. But now we’re headed towards the banning of “disinformation”. Further eroding away at free speech. Now disinformation is on par with hate speech. You can’t criticize or ask questions about certain people (people in power who lean to the left) or point out their misdeeds. That’s disinformation; aka, hate speech; aka, a crime. Now it’s just deplatforming, next there will be actual arrests.

Bill Gates and Dr.Fauci are left leaning people in power—power over the dissemination of information. They get to decide, along with others, what’s now considered disinformation. The government is now longer in power. Big tech is, and they can even ban the president.

It’s a reality that Bill Gates and big tech wield extreme power and influence over the world. Conspiracy theories are simply hairs rising on the back of one’s neck who is not a sheep.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

Now disinformation is on par with hate speech. You can’t criticize or ask questions about certain people (people in power who lean to the left) or point out their misdeeds. That’s disinformation; aka, hate speech; aka, a crime. Now it’s just deplatforming, next there will be actual arrests.

Nobe of this is based in reality.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

What’s scary is that what use to be tabloid news is now being promoted as serious world news with the intent to provoke and conjure up certain emotions. And this isn’t by accident.

Well said - a very accurate description of the far-right bubble-sphere...

At the beginning it was all about policing hate speech. But now we’re headed towards the banning of “disinformation”. Further eroding away at free speech. Now disinformation is on par with hate speech. You can’t criticize or ask questions about certain people (people in power who lean to the left) or point out their misdeeds. That’s disinformation; aka, hate speech; aka, a crime. Now it’s just deplatforming, next there will be actual arrests.

Inciting violence that resulted in five deaths - I guess the far-right doesn't see that as criminal...

Bill Gates and Dr.Fauci are left leaning people in power—power over the dissemination of information. They get to decide, along with others, what’s now considered disinformation. The government is now longer in power. Big tech is, and they can even ban the president.

He's an ex-President, if you haven't heard...

It’s a reality that Bill Gates and big tech wield extreme power and influence over the world. Conspiracy theories are simply hairs rising on the back of one’s neck who is not a sheep.

In other words, avoid 5G network towers and never leave home without tin foil lining the inside of your MAGA hat...

And watch out for Deep State Alien Lizards...

12 ( +14 / -2 )

However, he is an "anti-masker" (...) yet he is clearly taking advantage of Japan's mask policies or mask wearing culture

If you're searching for any kind of coherence in these type of self-proclaimed "journalists", don't. They will say absolutely anything to get clicks and get you to subscribe to their channel and you can be sure they themselves don't believe in even a third of what they're talking about. Like Alex Jones before him, Corbett is just another example of a conman cynically exploiting people he most definitely believes are completely stupid. You can be sure he will be first in line to get vaccinated for Covid while getting money claiming it kills people.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Corbett is a firm favourite on here with our resident ‘free thinkers’. He pops up a lot.

Yeah, Corbett is not funded by Gates, so he provides a more honest view.

Had a feeling you’d like him. Is Soros involved too?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

REPEAT AFTER ME:

Vaccines are safe.

Vaccines are "for your own good"

Corona vax is PERFECTLY BENIGN

2 ( +6 / -4 )

There are too many reasons not to trust him.

I trust him more than folks who admire Hitler's art, and dismiss holocaust deniers as "free thinkers".

Too many of these conspiracy theories have a nasty, anti-Semitic fan base.

Yeah, he's a billionaire - so of course there's going to be valid criticisms about obscene wealth, but the stuff we've seen bubble up to the surface over the last few years is plain crazy.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

You can’t criticize or ask questions about certain people (people in power who lean to the left) or point out their misdeeds.

Yes, you can.

The far right do it every single day, millions of users on hundreds of thousands of platforms, comments sections, radio shows, social media etc.

The can even get away with calling for their political opponents to be hung.

But still they whine and complain of victimhood when their dubious statements are challenged.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

John Smith

Bill Gates is a self-appointed "health care"expert with ZERO medical background or qualification.

He also has zero computer science qualifications (he dropped out of Harvard to start Microsoft), yet he managed to found one of the largest computer companies in the world.

He and his foundation have been working in public health for years.  His foundation has a mission to fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. He warned about the pandemic in a TED talk 5 years ago. I would say he is more than qualified.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I bet all those who are absolutely sure Gates is a good guy and is truly concerned about people's health never bothered to look at Corbett's report.

Yeah, Corbett is not funded by Gates, so he provides a more honest view.

Gates has invested lots of money in "health", but he gets several fold back

Any cites at all, or should we just ask Q?

He's on video somewhere talking about the impressive returns on his investments.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

I just don't think I understand what the right wants. Do you want strict government control of the media (in which case, conspiracy theories like those peddled by Corbett would be banned for the dangerous nonsense it is) or do you want a for-profit media with minimal government interference (in which case, social media is free to ban people who violate their TOS)?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I agree that producing medicine for the purpose of making a profit is bad, when it should be produced for the sole purpose of saving lives.

The only way to accomplish this is to abolish capitalism.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I bet all those who are absolutely sure Gates is a good guy and is truly concerned about people's health never bothered to look at Corbett's report.

I bet all those who are absolutely sure Corbett's videos have any objective informational value are just adults who desperately want to belive in fairy tales and make themselves appear superior by possessing some form of "hidden" knowledge.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

But still they whine and complain of victimhood when their dubious statements are challenged.

Sn*wflakes.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

He's on video somewhere talking about the impressive returns on his investments.

Yes now go find the real full version not the fired English teacher's edited version.

Note the "impressive return" is in lives saved not money.

Interesting how a little well placed edit can give a conspiracy promoter just what he wants.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Corbett is in Japan because he cannot get into the USA and his home country if Canada has the intelligence to bad hate speech and speech that directly attacks identifiable groups.

Not censorship but responsible governing.

Free speech is one thing but when you promote theories and ideas that attack people just for what they were born as, then that isn't freedom of speech it is freedom to spread hatred.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Most of these conspiracy theories, like Obama not being born in the USA, came from the discredited Donald TraitorTrump, Qanon and other geeky whackjobs. Why believe these idiots now????

Of course our own network news has been spreading crap leading to China-bashing (excuses for CoVid) and other stupid things too.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Conspiracy theories are simply hairs rising on the back of one’s neck who is not a sheep.

Nope. But it gave me a hearty chuckle, thanks.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I bet all those who are absolutely sure Gates is a good guy and is truly concerned about people's health never bothered to look at Corbett's report.

Im not sure about Gates, but I’m 100% certain Corbett is a complete loon and only other complete loons would give his ‘reports’ any validity at all.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

He's on video somewhere talking about the impressive returns on his investments.

Well, that is the purpose, when you invest in public health and development you see a huge return in improvement of living conditions of the place you are investing it.

People that can only see the world according to their personal economic gains are the ones that think that the only returns you could see from investment have to be about money. Coincidentally those absolutely materialistic people are the same ones that think that every health worker in the world would see the health of their family for money.

I agree that producing medicine for the purpose of making a profit is bad, when it should be produced for the sole purpose of saving lives.

You can also see the situation as people that choose saving lives as the way they make money, a chemist or a microbiologist could be making weapons for the same salary as making vaccines or drugs. Capitalism may be bad, but you cannot blindly assume that complete altruism would bring better results for medical development.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

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