Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates on Thursday pushed back against some of the conspiracy theories spreading online accusing him of creating the coronavirus outbreak.
“It’s a bad combination of pandemic and social media and people looking for a very simple explanation,” the Microsoft founder said during a CNN Town Hall interview.
Doctored photos and fabricated news articles crafted by conspiracy theorists — shared thousands of times on social media platforms and messaging apps, in various languages — targeting Gates have gained traction online since the start of the pandemic.
A video accusing Gates of wanting “to eliminate 15 percent of the population” through vaccination and electronic microchips has racked up millions of views on YouTube. “Our foundation has given more money to buy vaccines to save lives than any group,” Gates said, referring to his eponymous foundation.