Bill Gates said it's 'tragic' if a conspiracy theory about him putting tracking microchips in COVID-19 vaccines is driving people to not get vaccinated

Ryan Lash / TED
Ryan Lash / TED  
  • Bill Gates said it's tragic if conspiracy theories are preventing people from getting COVID-19 vaccines.

  • A discredited theory claims Gates is using vaccines to implant location-tracking microchips into people.

  • Gates called the conspiracy theory laughable and bizarre.

Bill Gates said it's "tragic" if conspiracy theories about him putting microchips in COVID-19 vaccines is preventing people from getting vaccinated.

"The one about tracking people, I don't know why they think I'm interested in knowing people's locations - that one I still have to laugh at - but if it's holding people back from getting vaccinated, then that's tragic," Gates said in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Friday.

Gates told Cooper conspiracy theories are "fun to click on" and that it may be easier for people to believe "simple explanations," like the claim that the vaccines were only created for profit than to understand the complicated science behind the fast development of COVID-19 vaccines.

Conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers continue to spread false information about COVID-19 vaccines. In the early days of their development, unfounded claims about the vaccines, including the that Gates will use them to implant people with location-tracking microchips, prompted fierce vaccine hesitancy among many Americans.

Gates has previously said the assertions were so bizarre that they're almost laughable.

"It's almost hard to deny this stuff because it's so stupid or strange that even to repeat it gives it credibility," Gates said in 2020.

Insider's Andrea Michaelson reported that while the exact origins of this myth aren't clear, the theory could have evolved from information taken out of context, including a video that went viral at the beginning of the pandemic where Jay Walker, the executive chairman of syringe maker Apiject, discussed a potential optional barcode-like label for the vaccine.

Vaccine-makers did not request the use of this label, which would have been placed on the outside of the syringe and not injected into the patient. It would have been used to "distinguish the real vaccine from counterfeit or expired doses, and to track when injections are used."

On Friday, he told Cooper that theories that he's only trying to profit off of the vaccine are also inaccurate.

"We've given billions for vaccines and saved millions of lives. If you just kind of invert that and say no, we're trying to make money from vaccines, you know, not trying to save lives, that's a popular conspiracy theory," he said.

While vaccine hesitancy was reduced in the US, Gates said the US "still has a lower full vaccination rate than many other countries," and the country needs to figure out ways to reach individuals who are still skeptical.

"Are they open-minded? Because it's to their benefit and to the people around them, so I'm surprised that the US, it's been this tough, and, you know, even somewhat a political thing," Gates said.


More Related News

GOP's Ted Cruz feuds with Elmo over kids getting COVID-19 vaccines

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas took aim at Sesame Street's "Elmo" after the popular children's show puppet promoted COVID-19 vaccines for children on Twitter. A minute-long clip posted on the show's Twitter page showed Elmo speaking with his loving TV puppet dad, Louie, about feeling "a little pinch" when got a shot. Louie then says he had questions about Elmo getting the vaccine, which he took to Elmo's pediatrician.

Pausing methotrexate improves booster response; first-trimester of pregnancy vaccination most beneficial
Pausing methotrexate improves booster response; first-trimester of pregnancy vaccination most beneficial

People taking a commonly-used drug for inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis get weaker-than-average protection from COVID-19 vaccines, but stopping the drug for two weeks after a booster dose doubled patients' antibody response in a randomized trial. UK researchers studied 254 adults receiving methotrexate for their conditions who were about to get their third dose of a vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca. Participants were randomly assigned to interrupt methotrexate treatment for two-weeks after the booster, or to continue taking methotrexate as usual.

Justice Thomas cites debunked claim that Covid vaccines are made with cells from
Justice Thomas cites debunked claim that Covid vaccines are made with cells from 'aborted children'

In a sharply worded dissent Thursday, Justice Clarence Thomas expressed support for the plaintiffs' debunked claims that all Covid vaccines are made with...

FDA recommends inclusion of BA.4, BA.5 subvariants in COVID boosters
FDA recommends inclusion of BA.4, BA.5 subvariants in COVID boosters
  • US
  • 2022-06-30 14:18:56Z

The FDA said it has not advised manufacturers to change the vaccine for the primary vaccination series, saying the coming year will be "a transitional period...

Walgreens profit plunges on opioid settlement, lower pharmacy sales
Walgreens profit plunges on opioid settlement, lower pharmacy sales
  • US
  • 2022-06-30 11:25:11Z

Walgreens had been relying on gains from administering COVID-19 vaccines to tide over losses from low prescription volumes and over-the-counter sales of...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


  • Upvc Windows Repairs Near Me
    (2022-05-14 23:38:47Z)

    There are a few things you should consider
    when selecting the window repair company near me.
    First, ensure you select a company that has an excellent reputation, and is licensed
    and insure.

  • Nano Ease CBD Oil
    (2022-05-15 02:56:57Z)

    Hey I am so delighted I found your website, I really found you
    by mistake, while I was researching on Google for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a
    marvelous post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don?t have time to read it all
    at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal
    more, Please do keep up the excellent jo.

  • upvc windows repairs near Me
    (2022-05-15 04:14:18Z)

    Find a local window repair company to help you fix your windows that are broken. Before hiring a professional to fix your windows in your home it is crucial to
    confirm if they are licensed and insured.

  • double glazed window repairs near me
    (2022-05-15 06:37:38Z)

    If you're in the market for window repair near me, there are a few points to consider
    before deciding on the right firm. First, you must choose a
    company with good reviews and is licensed and insure.


Top News: Latin America