I’ve seen a phenomenal explosion of conspiracy theories and misinformation since I wrote a recent article on Coronavirus misinformation. I suppose much of the misinformation is the result of so much uncertainty but, man, some of you have gone completely off the rails. The ones that really get my goomy are the ones about my hero Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, and the reason I get to do what I do. Even some of my smart friends are falling for this stuff. We simply must stop tolerating and legitimizing this junk. With that in mind, here are are some of the conspiracy theories about Bill Gates so far and why they are goofy:
CONSPIRACY: Bill Gates owns the patent on Covid19 and caused the pandemic so he can manufacture the vaccine and make billions. FACT: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been giving away free vaccines around the world for many years. They just happened to donate some money to the Pirbright Institute who does hold a patent on a chicken version of the Coronavirus. That has somehow morphed into Bill Gates creating the Covid19 virus. It’s just dumb.
CONSPIRACY: Bill Gates wants to microchip everyone so he can track everybody’s location for . . . reasons. Also, this is the mark of Satan. Also, the microchip actually contains Covid19. FACT: In March of this year, Gates gave a talk on Reddit (a website for nerds like me) and suggested that, in order to keep businesses open and clients safe in the future, we may consider an invisible temporary tattoo on people that can be read from a distance that will quickly prove that they’ve either recovered from Covid19 or had the vaccine. This would allow people to safely attend football games, for example. Bill was just throwing out ideas. There was never any mention of a microchip and, at risk of stating the obvious, microchips can’t transmit biological viruses.
CONSPIRACY: Bill Gates wants to reduce the world’s population by injecting “poisoned vaccines” or something. FACT: Gates did give a TED Talk a few years ago. In his talk, he stated that one of his goals is the widespread availability of birth control to help countries control their exploding populations. That statement morphed into “Bill wants to murder the planet!” I can’t make this stuff up!
Years ago virtually everyone celebrated an end to the polio epidemic. We are now on the verge of an equally crucial scientific advancement and people are already demonstrating against them because of dumb conspiracy theories. At some point, hopefully soon, we are going to be able to hug one another, congregate in worship centers, at sporting events, at city hall meetings, and restaurants. Getting there is going to require critical thinking skills and some creative ways of verifying that people aren’t a danger to others. To that end, I propose a large “GOOBER” tattoo on the foreheads of conspiracy theorists. Tell all your friends I said that and let’s see how that story evolves.
Jim Fisher owns Excel Computer Services in Florence. Reach him at www.ExcelAL.com