Have you heard that Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates wants to use coronavirus vaccines to insert tracking microchips into people? Well, Bill Gates has heard it, and he says it’s “science fiction,” per USA Today. And if it could be done, a puzzled Gates tells the paper, “why would I want to be involved in that. I don’t get it.” Gates, speaking to Reuters, acknowledged Wednesday that he—along with infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci—has become one of the main targets for a host of “crazy conspiracy theories” about the coronavirus that have spread across social media as effectively as the virus has spread through the global population. “Nobody would have predicted that I and Dr. Fauci would be so prominent in these really evil theories,” he tells the outlet.
“Do people really believe this stuff?” he adds, “We’re really going to have to get educated about this over the next year and understand ... how does it change people's behavior and how should we have minimized this?” Gates, who has committed at least $1.75 billion to the COVID-19 response, says that conspiracy theories about microchips and him and Fauci seeking to profit from the virus aren’t just unhinged, they have the potential to prolong the pandemic. “If somebody is afraid of these vaccines because of this craziness, that means that they’re not going to be protecting others," he tells USA Today. "They’re going to be a potential source of transmission.” Gates, 65, has been vaccinated, his wife, Melinda Gates, tells CBS. “And he had no problem with it,” she says, adding that combating “conspiracy theories that cause more death” will require “more government regulation over the social platforms.” (Read more conspiracy theories stories.)