Bill Gates responds to ‘stupid,’ ‘bizarre’ coronavirus microchip conspiracy theories
Responding to a conspiracy theory that Bill Gates plans to use the coronavirus vaccine to implant microchips in people and create a global surveillance state, the billionaire said the theory was “so stupid.”
Gates’ remarks came during a call with reporters on Thursday ahead of an announcement that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would pledge another $1.6 billion to the Gavi vaccine alliance, the New York Post reported.
“In a way, it’s so bizarre, you almost want to view it as something humorous, but I guess it’s really not a humorous thing. I’ve never been involved in any sort of microchip-type thing,” Gates said of the theory that has circulated online, the New York Post reported.
“It’s almost hard to deny this stuff because it’s so stupid or strange that to even repeat it almost seems to give it credibility,” he added.
The conspiracy theory posits that the Microsoft founder would use the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to create a vaccine that contains a microchip capable of tracking the entire population.
The theory has been wildly debunked, but has gained traction.
A Yahoo News/YouGov poll found 44 percent of Republicans in agreement with the conspiracy theory, Yahoo reported.
Only 26 percent of Republicans accurately identified the story as false, while 19 percent of Democrats also believed the theory.
Gates noted that although the theory may be “stupid” it does have potentially devastating results, and could actively harm critical coronavirus reduction measures being implemented.
“If you don’t get a broad uptake, then you wouldn’t have the dramatic effect you want to have, meaning that the risk of reintroduction is so low that you can go back to having things like big sports events,” Gates said, according to the New York Post.
“The misinformation could hold us back at some point, but I wouldn’t say that that’s hurting us at this stage.”