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Does Bill Gates Really Know More About the Coronavirus Than He’s Letting On?

Billionaire Bill Gates is one of the most vocal non-government personalities talking about the coronavirus pandemic. He’s also among the most generous businessmen donating funds to help in the fight against the deadly disease the virus causes.

However, it seems that no good deed Gates does would go unpunished as conspiracy theories speculating his involvement in the virus’ spread begin floating around in various corners of the Internet.

TED Talk Prediction?

Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia Commons
Gates in his TED Talk about Ebola and pandemic preparedness

These bizarre theories often cite Gates’s 2015 TED Talk as proof of his knowledge of the coronavirus even before it broke out. The talk titled, ‘The next outbreak? We’re not ready’, warned people of the possibility of a contagious pandemic spreading across the world.

However, it’s worth noting that Gates’ predictions were made in the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak at the time. He also examined how the disease killed thousands of people living in the African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

In comparison, COVID-19 has afflicted over 2.7 million across the world killing 190,000. Gates, through his foundation, has reportedly donated $250 million to help fight the virus and find a vaccine for the disease it causes.

Conspiracy Theory

Sean P. Anderson/Wikimedia Commons
Among those who picked up theories of Gates causing the pandemic is Alex Jones, a far-right radio show host

Now, theories pointing towards the billionaire as the origin of the coronavirus have been running rampant online. Some right-wing conspiracy theorists even went as far as to accuse him of being the mastermind behind the pandemic.

They point out how Gates said in his TED Talk that the outbreak following Ebola would be more devastating as it would spread through infected people traveling without knowing that they carry the virus.

The same happened in the case of the novel coronavirus as symptoms of the disease don’t manifest until two weeks or more after a person comes in contact with the virus.

Fast Spread

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
Conservative television personality Laura Ingraham has also talked about the theories

The said conspiracy theories reportedly began circulating in late January. And just like how contagious COVID-19 is, these ideas also spread fast on the Internet. Just in the last two months, the theories were mentioned over 1.2 million times by people on social media.

Meanwhile, Gates has expressed lament about the claims against him saying that it’s ironic that people are coming for those who are just helping solve a global problem. He did acknowledge though that the current climate can be a breeding ground of crazy ideas as well.

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