Brain Implants and Other COVID-19 Vaccine Conspiracy Theories
Bill Gates' eldest daughter, Jennifer Gates, posted an image to Instagram throwing shade on the unusual theories surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine, remarking in jest that she did not receive a complimentary microchip implant in her brain with her vaccine.
Of course, she is joking about the possibility of there being a microchip brain implant involved in the COVID-19 vaccine, but it also serves to illustrate the need to review the facts on deaths from vaccines and other worries in a broader scientific context.
Bill Gates' daughter did not receive brain implant from COVID-19 vaccine
24-year old medical student, Jenifer Gates took to Instagram to announce her recent injection of the COVID-19 vaccine. While she expressed gratitude for the state of modern medicine, she also added a quip about her "genius father."
"PPS sadly the vaccine did NOT implant my genius father into my brain — if only mRNA had that power," she said, in the Instagram post. "I'd urge everyone to read more strongly [and] consider it for yourself and your families when you are provided the option."
Most unusual theories surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine pass us by as typical misinformation — which is frequent during times of world-historical struggle, like the global pandemic. But the most popular theory about alleged foul play suggests Bill Gates wants to implant microchips into the entire human population — in the guise of a colossal vaccination campaign.
However, this theory lacks an accepted basis in factual evidence. Earlier this year, people in Italy shared a diagram alleged to display schematics for a 5G chip slipped into the COVID-19 vaccine. But then a curious software engineer did some research, and — much to their amusement — found that the image comes from a diagram of a guitar pedal.
Bill Gates 'surprised' at brain implant theory
A YouGov poll carried out in May 2020 found that up to 28% of people in the U.S. expressed their belief in the statement: "Bill Gates wants to use a mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19 to implant microchips in people that would be used to track people with a digital ID."
Bill Gates expressed incredulity on the subject of weird or conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccine, saying: "Do people really believe this stuff?," during a January interview with Reuters. "Nobody would have predicted that I and Dr. Fauci would be so prominent in these really evil theories."
"I'm very surprised by that," added Gates. "I hope it goes away."
Other outlandish COVID-19 vaccine theory
The conspiracies don't end with brain implants. Other people have claimed that the COVID-19 vaccine can alter human DNA, cause the disease, and even serve as a barcode, allowing the government to access an individual's entire medical history. This view came to marginal prominence when anti-vaccine proponents built on the already-existing mistrust of vaccines generally — a mistrust that is ironic, given that vaccines are directly responsible for increased human lifespans.
The paradoxically unscientific basis for this belief considers vaccines potentially harmful because they are deemed "unnatural" — a subjective description any skeptic should be wary of.
Minimal vaccine death rate is normal
As of Jan. 18, 196 people had died from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The majority of these — 129, to be precise — were patients in long-term care facilities. But since this is comparable to the number of deaths typically seen from natural causes over a similar period, the vaccine likely had an exclusively coincidental relation to deaths.
For a historical comparison, when an early polio vaccine rolled out in April 1955, 200,000 children in five mid-western and western U.S. states received a defective version, according to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Called the "Cutter Incident" after the pharmaceutical firm that created the vaccine — Cutter Laboratories — subsequent investigation revealed that the early vaccine had caused 40,000 cases of polio. This major blunder left 200 children with varying degrees of paralysis — and killed 10.
When the world's population is disturbed by events as life-shattering as the COVID-19 crisis, any ray of scientific sunshine can become the object of unrealistic expectations — and often lead many to form wild theories about something without consulting the facts, and learning from history. While the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are highly effective at preventing infection from the coronavirus — like all other vaccines, there is an inherent risk to a small subset of the population.