FactualIn two months, the American businessman and philanthropist, the second largest financier of the WHO, became the hated figure of conspiratorial speeches. In the background, the rapprochement between several communities.
It took two months – and a global pandemic – for Bill Gates to become the center of a whole series of conspiracy theories. The American billionaire, founder of Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation [alsopartnerandfinancialcontributorof[parailleurspartenaireetcontributeurfinancierdu[alsopartnerandfinancialcontributorof[parailleurspartenaireetcontributeurfinancierduWorld Africa], is notably suspected by various networks, ranging from anti-vaccines to certain supporters of Donald Trump, of exploiting the Covid-19 crisis to deploy mental control chips in our bodies.
A converted entrepreneur and philanthropist, Bill Gates and his foundation have long been the subject of strong criticism – over their inordinate weight in global public health policies, or over the tax optimization afforded by foundation systems, for example. But, with the coronavirus, the discourses targeting them have changed in scale, as shown by the evolution of Internet searches on Google’s Trends tool.
As often, these theories start from real events, before extrapolating them. In this case, an announcement in December 2019 of a “digital health book” project supported by the Foundation. Based on subcutaneous fleas and invisible “tattoos”, this was an answer to the lack of follow-up of vaccination campaigns in the poorest countries, such as Bangladesh and Malawi. A project linked to a local problem, still at the stage of study of acceptability, but which will feed the fantasy of a plan of general stinking of humanity.
Before March: a “usual suspect” among others
From the start of the health crisis, some persistent infoxes resurface. Like the idea, born of a misinterpretation of his words, that Bill Gates seeks through his vaccines to reduce the world's population. Others emerge, ill-informed, arguing that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would have funded the group having “Invented” SARS-CoV-2 – when he actually patented the description of an unrelated avian coronavirus. Others rightly remember this time that, like the CIA and Jacques Attali, Bill Gates had warned that the world should prepare for the risk of a pandemic, but interpreted it accusingly.
The week of March 9, an innocuous extract from this famous conference in 2015, in which Bill Gates estimated that an epidemic could claim more victims than a war, is thus diverted and used as “proof” of the fact that the founder of Microsoft “Either knew or was at the origin of the pandemic”, in a video (in English) on Instagram. Published by an account dedicated to alternative medicines which notably writes that “It's the clothes that cause skin cancer”, it is shared by the American comedian Cedric the Entertainer, then by several influential African-American actors and stars. In a few days, it accumulates more than two million views.
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