Bill Gates has been warning the world about a pandemic for years, and now that we've got one, Gates himself is getting some unwanted attention. The New York Times reports that he's now the No. 1 topic of wild conspiracy theories related to the coronavirus, as tracked by the media analysis company Zignal Labs. That includes YouTube videos with misinformation that were viewed about 5 million times. Coverage:
- Told you so: Gates had a TED Talk in 2015 warning that the next big global threat would come from "not missiles, but microbes," and the speech is again in wide circulation. He cautioned that governments around the world were unprepared for a highly infectious virus. Watch the speech here.
- On Trump: Gates has criticized US preparation amid the COVID-19 outbreak, writing, "There's no question the United States missed the opportunity to get ahead of the novel coronavirus" in a Washington Post op-ed on March 31. He also criticized President Trump's decision to halt funding to the World Health Organization, though he didn't name Trump in his tweet. As a result, some high-profile Trump supporters have been going after Gates, notes the Daily Beast.