Bill Gates says he didn't expect to be subject of misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic

Bill Gates says he didn't expect to be subject of misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic
Bill Gates at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland on November 2, 2021Jeff J Mitchell/Pool/Getty Images
  • Bill Gates was interviewed on Twitter about the pandemic.
  • Gates said he had not expected to become the subject of COVID-19 misinformation.

Bill Gates did not expect the pandemic to turn him into the focal point of COVID-19 conspiracy theories.

Gates was interviewed on Twitter by Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at Edinburgh University Medical School and director of the Global Health Governance Programme.

"One major problem has been online misinformation on Facebook & other platforms around vaccines, masks and other interventions — how do we deal with this challenge?" Sridhar asked Gates.

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Gates said health organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization need more resources to spot and communicate about the pandemic, and added that social media "got behind" on foregrounding factual information.

"People like you and I and Tony Fauci have been subject to a lot of misinformation. I didn't expect that,"Gates tweeted.


"Some of it like me putting chips in arms doesn't make sense to me — why would I want to do that?" he added.

Conspiracy theories blaming Gates for COVID-19 began to circulate early in the pandemic, and some grew to include the narrative that Gates backs mass vaccination so that he can implant tracking microchips into people.

You can read fact-checking organizations Snopes and Full Fact's debunking of this conspiracy theory.

In April 2020 the Gates Foundation pledged a total $250 million to coronavirus response efforts.