In a 2015 speech, Bill Gates warned that the greatest risk to humanity was not nuclear war but an infectious virus that could threaten the lives of millions of people.
That speech has resurfaced the start of the coronavirus pandemic with 25 million new views on YouTube — but not in the way that Mr. Gates probably intended. Anti-vaccinators, members of the group QAnon and right-wing pundits have instead seized on the video as evidence that one of the world’s richest men planned to use a pandemic to wrest control of the global health system.
During his interview with the Financial Times back on April 9, 2020, Bill Gates did give another controversial statement.
Gates told The Financial Times, “You don’t have a choice… Normalcy only returns when we largely vaccinate the entire population.”
Bill Gates says getting VAXXed is NOT your choice. pic.twitter.com/T3rImfiNFY
— Bruce Adams (@agvBruceAdams) August 2, 2020
Here is the full interview with the Financial Times:
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged millions of dollars to companies developing potential novel coronavirus vaccines.
In an interview on April 9 on CNBC, Gates spoke theoretically about how many people might experience side effects from a yet-to-be-developed coronavirus vaccine.
He also the work his foundation is doing to fight COVID-19. CNBC posted the clip on YouTube. It has been viewed more than 74,000 times.
Gates mentions needing about 7 billion doses worldwide and says:
“The efficacy in vaccines in older people is always a huge challenge. It turns out the flu vaccine isn’t that effective in elderly people; most of the benefit comes from younger people not spreading it because they’re vaccinated, and that benefits, on a community basis, the elderly.
“Here, we clearly need a vaccine that works in the upper age range because they’re most at risk of that. And doing that so that you amp it up so it works in older people, and yet you don’t have side effects. If we have one in 10,000 side effects, that’s way more — 700,000 people who will suffer from that.
“So, really understanding the safety at gigantic scale across all age ranges — pregnant, male, female, undernourished, existing comorbidities — it’s very, very hard. And that actual decision of, OK, let’s go and give this vaccine to the entire world — governments will have to be involved because there will be some risk and indemnification needed before that can be decided on.”
You can watch the moment at 10:54 from the video below
Gates is a leading voice on the push for a vaccine for COVID-19 and he has committed more than $300 million to novel coronavirus response efforts. His stance, however, has made him a target of anti-vaccine campaigners.