• Gates' Gavi vaccine alliance has raised $8.8 billion
  • Conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccine containing microchips abound globally
  • Gates has categorically dismissed such theories

The novel coronavirus has become a topic for a host of conspiracy theories, especially regarding vaccines for the disease and those involved in making them. One of the prime targets of these theories is Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation, that are working on seven different coronavirus vaccines.

For the first time, Gates has come out publicly to junk such theories and called such allegations so "stupid" that they are hard to refute. He continues his efforts to create a coronavirus vaccine through his Gavi vaccine alliance, which has raised $8.8 billion from world leaders and businesses for coronavirus vaccine research, out of which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $1.6 billion. Gavi aims to immunize 300 million in the world’s poorest countries by 2025.

Despite Gates’ previous efforts of eliminating Polio and Measles, a conspiracy theory has taken root that the coronavirus pandemic is a cover-up for implanting traceable microchips inside people and the Microsoft co-founder is behind it.

The theory has become very popular globally — from Africa to Russia. The head of the Russian Communist Party has alleged that “globalists” are running a “covert mass implantation drive.”

In the U.S., Roger Stone, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, has stated that microchips will be used to determine whether or not people have been tested. A new YouGov poll of 1,640 people suggested that 28% of Americans believe that Bill Gates wants to use vaccines to implant microchips into people. This prompted Gates, who generally doesn’t respond to such theories, to come out and dismiss the allegations.

“I have never been involved in any sort of microchip-type thing. It’s almost hard to deny this stuff because it’s so stupid or strange,” Gates stated in a call to Business Insider. He, however, said that there are “needed systems” to help healthcare systems identify those who have been immunized, but no microchips are involved in this process.

If and when the vaccine is created, an anti-vaccine sentiment will make it harder to reach a level of herd immunity— a level where most of the population is immune to the pathogen, he further added.

Gates had attempted to sound an alarm regarding the dangers of pandemics in 2016 also and has been asking world leaders to step up and prepare the world since then. However, this has been branded by conspiracy theorists 'an attempt to sell his vaccine to governments.'

Despite Gates’ successful campaigns aimed at ending malnutrition and polio throughout Asia and Africa, the conspiracy theorists keep promoting the microchip theory, without any solid proof.

Bill Gates's vaccine programmes on the continent have long provided ample fodder for speculation Bill Gates's vaccine programmes on the continent have long provided ample fodder for speculation Photo: AFP / MARCO LONGARI