Gates downplayed his involvement in production of the vaccines on “Anderson Cooper 360” and ridiculed conspiracy theories about him.
“The one about tracking people, I don’t know why they think I’m interested in knowing people’s locations — that one I still have to laugh at — but if it’s holding people back from getting vaccinated, then that’s tragic,” Gates told anchor Anderson Cooper.
Gates also insisted his involvement in vaccines was not driven by profit but by philanthropy.
“You know, we’ve given billions for vaccines and saved millions of lives. If you just kind of invert that and say no, we’re trying to make money from vaccines, you know, not trying to save lives, that’s a popular conspiracy theory,” he said.
After Cooper asked Gates if vaccine hesitancy “fueled” these “conspiracy theories” about him and whether that will hinder more vaccinations in the future, Gates said peer pressure has caused more people to take the shot, but added it’s been “tough” because the COVID shots have been turned into a “political thing.”
“Well, the hesitancy did go down somewhat, you know, initially it was like at 60 percent of the population, but as they saw their friends getting vaccinated and very rare side effects, as they saw their friends being protected and the people with severe disease were overwhelmingly the unvaccinated, most people came around,” Gates replied.
The Microsoft cofounder said the government needs to get more “creative” with finding ways to convince people to get the COVID shot, suggesting they need to figure out who vaccine-skeptical Americans trust.
“Now the U.S. still has a lower full vaccination rate than many other countries, so we still need to figure out: Who do those people trust? Are they open-minded?” Gates asked. “Because it’s to their benefit and to the people around them, so I’m surprised that the U.S., it’s been this tough, and, you know, even somewhat a political thing.”
This comes days after Gates proposed a social media narrative squad of 3,000 people to “propagate accurate vaccine information in the future,” CNBC reported.
Gates made the Orwellian proposal in reaction to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter.
“How does he feel about something [on Twitter] that says ‘vaccines kill people’ or that ‘Bill Gates is tracking people?’” Gates asked.