Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has pushed back against conspiracy theories spreading online accusing him of creating the coronavirus pandemic.
The Microsoft founder made the push back during a CNN Town Hall interview.
He said: “It’s a bad combination of pandemic and social media. People are looking for a very simple explanation.
”Our foundation has given more money to buy vaccines to save lives than any group.”
Conspiracy theorists had crafted and shared doctored photos and fabricated news articles on social media platforms and messaging apps.
The fake news in various languages targeted Gates. They have gained traction online since the start of the pandemic.
A video accused the Billionaire of wanting “to eliminate 15 percent of the population” through vaccination and electronic microchips. The clip racked up millions of views on YouTube.
Bill Gates has pledged $250 million in efforts to fight the pandemic. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent billions of dollars improving health care in developing countries over the past 20 years.
Gates continued, “So you just turn that around. You say, 0k, we’re making money and we’re trying to kill people with vaccines or by inventing something.
“And at least it’s true. We’re associated with vaccines, but you actually have sort of flipped the connection.”
He hopes the conspiracies don’t generate “vaccine hesitancy.”
Reverend Chris Okotie is part of those who condemned Gates over his alleged role in the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19.
However, since the start of the crisis, AFP Fact Check has debunked dozens of anti-Gates rumours circulating on platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram in languages including English, French, Spanish, Polish and Czech.
A number of accusations, including posts claiming that the FBI arrested Gates for biological terrorism or that he supports a Western plot to poison Africans, share a common thread.
They accuse the tycoon of exploiting the crisis, whether it is to “control people” or make money from selling vaccines.
“I’m a big believer in getting the truth out,” Gates told CNN.