In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Friday, Bill Gates said it would be "tragic" if conspiracy theories about him were stopping people from getting vaccinated. In particular, he addressed the rumors that he might be putting tracking chips into people through vaccination.
A silly conspiracy theory
"The one about tracking people, I don't know why they think I'm interested in knowing people's locations — that one I still have to laugh at — but if it's holding people back from getting vaccinated, then that's tragic," Gates said.
The philanthropist added that conspiracy theories are "fun to click on" and that people may fall for "simple explanations," like the claim that the vaccines were only created for profit rather than to understand the science behind the complex and speedy engineering of COVID-19 vaccines.
Gates also made it clear that he is in no way trying to profit off of the vaccine.
"We've given billions for vaccines and saved millions of lives. If you just kind of invert that and say no, we're trying to make money from vaccines, you know, not trying to save lives, that's a popular conspiracy theory," he said.
A lower full vaccination rate
Gates further added the US "still has a lower full vaccination rate than many other countries" and that the nation needs to find a way ways to convince individuals who still doubt the importance of vaccinations.
"Are they open-minded? Because it's to their benefit and to the people around them, so I'm surprised that the U.S., it's been this tough, and, you know, even somewhat a political thing," Gates said.
In February of 2022, Gates wrote a blog post where he said “I believe that COVID-19 can be the last pandemic.” The post was followed by a book on the same topic which gives much hope that humanity will not face such dire conditions yet again.