By Alicia Buller
US billionaire says it's 'unfortunate' that people are reaching for 'overly simple explanations' over pandemic
US tech titan Bill Gates has debunked the global army of conspiracy theorists who claim he seeded coronavirus for his own malevolent purposes.
In an exclusive interview with Arabian Business, he said: “I’m surprised at these conspiracy theories, they are incorrect. Obviously, for my own part, I haven’t actually been part of these coronavirus theories.”
In a video call, he referred to unfounded theories that he is plotting to use a mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign to implant microchips in billions of people and monitor their movements.
The Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist said: “It is unfortunate that people are reaching for overly simple explanations for why this pandemic happened.
Your conspiracy theory is that Bill Gates, a man who donates nearly 50% of his wealth, is so obsessed with making money that he’s willing to (somehow) order a research institute to develop a deadly virus and release it on the world... so that he can make money on the vaccine.— lex amissa (@lexamissa0) September 9, 2020
“It’s ironic because in 2015 I actually predicted this and tried to forewarn the world. I wanted to help the world prepare and not many things were done,” Gates added.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged more than $350 million to fight coronavirus, including funds for vaccine manufacturing efforts at AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax.
“We need people to understand that they need to wear masks to protect themselves – that’s the important message that should be getting out,” Gates said.
“I hope the truth will get out and people will make sure they are protected. It seems like the true messages aren’t as exciting as the conspiracy messages,” he said.
Gates added that positive regional attitudes to vaccinations are “important” in easing his foundation’s mission to protect the UAE population against polio and measles.
In November 2019, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi convened the “Reaching The Last Mile Forum” in Abu Dhabi with a host of world leaders and philanthropists to announce total pledges of $2.6 billion to fight polio.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday launched its fourth annual Goalkeepers Report, featuring new data showing how the ripple effects of Covid-19 have stopped 20 years of progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Born: Seattle, US
Age: 64 years
Education: Lakeside School, Harvard (dropped out)
Net worth: $105.6 billion (Forbes)
Occupation: Software developer; investor; entrepreneur; philanthropist
Best known as: Co-founder, Microsoft and pioneer of the microcomputer revolution in 1970s and 1980s. Gates led the company as chairman and CEO until stepping down in 2000, but he remained chairman and become chief software architect. He resigned as chairman in 2014 and become technology advisor to the new CEO, Satya Nadella.
Age when Bill wrote his first software programme: 13 years
Current titles: Co-chairman and co-founder of the world’s largest private charity, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; chairman and founder, Branded Entertainment Network; chairman and co-founder TerraPower; chairman and founder, Cascade Investment; technology advisor, Microsoft
Spouse: Melinda Gates