FACT CHECK: Is Bill Gates ‘Advocating For Church Gatherings To Never Return’?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Facebook post shared more than 5,700 times claims Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is “advocating for church gatherings to never return.”

Verdict: False

While Gates has suggested some mass gatherings may not be permitted by the government until a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available, he has not advocated for “church gatherings to never return.”

Fact Check:

U.K.-based preacher and businessman Uebert Angel shared the post on April 4, along with a 30-second segment from a recent interview Gates did with “CBS This Morning.” In the accompanying clip, Gates discusses the U.S.’s ongoing coronavirus outbreak and speculates about what “opening up” the country might look like.

“Which activities have, like schools, have such benefit and can be done in a way that the risk of transmission is very low?” he asked. “And which activities like mass gatherings may be, in a certain sense, more optional. And so until you’re widely vaccinated, those may not come back at all.”

Angel claims the clip shows Gates “advocating for church gatherings to never return,” despite the Microsoft co-founder never mentioning churches in the entire interview. (RELATED: Did Bill Gates Write This Statement About The ‘Spiritual Purpose’ Of Coronavirus?)

Gates simply speculated that certain large gatherings may not be permitted by the government until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available. He also discussed the need to prioritize testing and the possible timeline for when a vaccine could be ready, among other things, according to the full video.

There is no indication from the CBS interview that he is in favor of church gatherings never returning, and The Daily Caller News Foundation found no media reports to corroborate the claim that he has advocated for anything to that effect.

Gates has made supportive statements about religion in the past. “The moral systems of religion, I think, are super important,” he said in a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone. “We’ve raised our kids in a religious way; they’ve gone to the Catholic church that Melinda goes to and I participate in.”

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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