A news report is being widely shared on social media claiming that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates had called for the withdrawal of all COVID-19 vaccines. This article reported that in a recent 19-minute television interaction, Bill Gates said, “We committed a calamitous error. We looked to protect people from possibly lethal contamination. In any case, the contamination ends up being undeniably less hurtful than we initially dreaded. Moreover, the inoculation is fundamentally more hurtful than anybody expected”. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Bill Gates called for the withdrawal of all COVID-19 vaccines.
Fact: This article was first published by ‘The Daily Expose’ website on 29 August 2021. ‘The Daily Expose’ website attached a disclaimer clarifying that the article is satire. Bill Gates did not make any such statement demanding the withdrawal of COVID-19 vaccines. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
When we searched to check whether Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates had made any such statement demanding the withdrawal of all COVID-19 vaccines, we could not find any such news report on the internet. If Bill Gates had made any such statement, several international mainstream news portals would have published articles reporting that information. But we could not find even a single news article reporting such information. In 2020, while responding to several COVID-19 conspiracy theories linked to him, Bill Gates said, “In a way, it’s so bizarre you almost want to see it as something humorous but it’s really not a humorous thing. It’s almost hard to deny this stuff because it’s so stupid or strange that even to repeat it gives it credibility”.
When we searched for the details of the article shared in the post, it is found out that this news report was first published by ‘The Daily Expose’ website on 29 August 2021. This website attached a note in the article stating, “The following satire is fictional in that Mr. Gates has made no such speech and the Gates Foundation has not established any funds to compensate vaccine victims or to make available effective, inexpensive COVID-19 remedies. All the rest of the article is factual”. When this satirical article was re-published by several websites assuming the news as true, ‘The Daily Expose’ website attached a disclaimer top on their article clarifying the article is satire. The text in the disclaimer reads, “When we first published this article we should have made it clear at the beginning that it was satire rather than at the end. We did not do this and we apologise”.
The ‘About Us’ section of the website states, “The Daily Expose is run by extremely ordinary, hardworking people who are sick and tired of the fear-mongering, lies, and propaganda perpetuated by the mainstream media. We felt it was our duty to bring you the facts that the mainstream refuse to, and now here we are”. Several similar articles questioning the safety of COVID-19 vaccines were found published on this website.
To sum it up, Bill Gates did not demand the withdrawal of COVID-19 vaccines; the article reporting this information is a satirical one.