Microsoft co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates is the newest center of conspiracy theories with no scientific basis for the new coronavirus. According to a report by the analysis company Zignal Labs, the executive became a target on social networks of groups such as anti-vaccines and the extreme right, being listed even as a possible responsible for the pandemic of the new coronavirus.
According to The New York Times, more than 16,000 commented and linked Facebook posts more than 900,000 times have been identified this year, establishing a link between Gates and Covid-19. In addition, the ten most popular videos on YouTube relating the executive to the disease have already accumulated over five million views.
One of the evidences used in the theory is a speech made by Gates in 2015 about the possibility of humanity facing the global pandemic in the future unprepared. According to the conspiracyists, this proves that he was aware of the issue and could use it to “control the global health system”. In other posts, he is directly responsible for creating the virus to profit from the further development of a vaccine.
In fact, Gates takes the opposite path from conspiracies. Together with his wife, Melinda, he has maintained the nonprofit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since 2000. The institution has been investing and funding research around the world to seek alternative energy sources and help populations with public health problems, including projects to combat the lack of basic sanitation and also vaccine campaigns for diseases like polio.
The foundation also invested in a rapid home test for the detection of the new coronavirus and, recently, Gates criticized the United States government for suspending financial support to the World Health Organization (WHO). He currently has devoted most of his time to the foundation, having even left in March of this year the post of Microsoft board member.
The executive did not comment on the matter to the newspaper. YouTube even removed conspiratorial content that linked the coronavirus to 5G, but so far has not taken similar steps in relation to videos involving Gates. Facebook also has anti-misinformation measures on the platform, removing some publications and warning users about fake news.