We came across this message on Telegram:
The message shows a tweet from Bill Gates, American business magnate and co-founder of Microsoft, dated 19 December 2019. In the tweet, he describes how next year (2020) one of the best buys in global health could be vaccines. The message highlights the timestamp and date of the tweet, insinuating that Bill Gates was aware of the COVID-19 vaccine and labelling it as a ‘best buy’ in December 2019.
Pandemic planned for profit?
There are numerous conspiracy theories circulating that describe how the pandemic having been planned, with theories ranging from COVID-19 being a plan to create a ‘new world order’ or as a vehicle for Bill Gates to plant microchips in people through the COVID-19 vaccine. Naturally, these have all been debunked previously, with peer reviewed journals being written to debunk notions of the ‘plandemic’.
This tweet by Bill Gates then, which has achieved a great deal of attention due to its reposting by conspiracy theorists has been debunked as well, with several fact-checking bodies having investigated the claim previously.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and vaccines
As mentioned, while the tweet from Bill Gates is real and unaltered, Bill Gates does not mention Coronavirus at all, with the article he links to in his tweet describing the importance of the polio vaccine instead.
While conducting our research on the tweet, we found that this was not the first time that the importance of vaccines has been posited by Mr Gates, with a tweet from 2014 emphasizing how vaccines are essential for saving lives. For the 2014 tweet however, he was referring to the work of the public health group known as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and their delivery of immunizations for measles and pneumonia in developing countries.
With the overwhelming evidence against this and the prior factchecks conducted on this conspiracy theory, we rate the idea that Bill Gates had known about the COVID-19 vaccine and had planned the pandemic for profit as false.