11:15 GMT27 February 2021
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    Vaccines against coronavirus will kill more people than the disease itself. What, you haven’t heard? It’s probably because you don’t spend a lot of time on social media reading wild conspiracy theories about the pandemic and the unholy people, who masterminded it. Supporters of these theories claim Bill Gates is one of those cunning people.

    Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says he is thunderstruck by the amount of coronavirus-related conspiracy theories which have been spread about him and US top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci. Speaking with Reuters, the software developer-turned-philanthropist said he wants to learn what is driving these conspiracy theories, which Gates branded "crazy" and "evil".

    "Nobody would have predicted that I and Dr Fauci would be so prominent in these really evil theories. I’m very surprised by that. I hope it goes away," he told Reuters.

    Gates himself believes that the combination of fear and the prolonged use of social media resulted in wild theories about the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic.

    What Claims Have Been Made Against Gates?

    Numerous posts on social media allege that the Microsoft co-founder created SARS-CoV-2 to profit from it or to control the world’s population by inserting minuscule microchips when administering the inoculation against coronavirus. Other claims the virus was designed to "solve" the issue with overpopulation and that the vaccine against the disease will kill more people.

    ​Gates has been at the forefront of the campaign to eradicate the disease. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation s - has given $250 million to laboratories around the world to study COVID-19 and develop vaccines against the infectious disease. It sent $1.6 billion to Gavi, an organisation that supplies poor countries with different inoculations.

    Despite the World Health Organization releasing a statement saying SARS-CoV-2 is of animal origin and not man-made, conspiracy theories about the disease continue to circulate online and people who believe in them often resort to action.

    In Britain, 77 5G masts - which according to one popular conspiracy theory infect people with COVID-19 - were burned. Arson attacks on mobile towers were staged in other parts of the world, including the United States, Europe and Russia.

    "But do people really believe that stuff?” Gates asked during the interview with Reuters. "We’re really going to have to get educated about this over the next year and understand .. how does it change peoples’ behaviour and how should we have minimised this?"
    vaccination, pandemic, coronavirus, COVID-19, Bill Gates
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