FACT CHECK: Did Bill Gates Say COVID-19 Vaccines Should Be Withdrawn?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said COVID-19 vaccines should be withdrawn due to safety concerns.

Verdict: False

The claim stems from a satirical article. There is no evidence Gates called for the withdrawal of COVID-19 vaccines.

Fact Check:

Gates has been a vocal proponent of COVID-19 vaccines and previously donated $1.75 billion to COVID-19 vaccine development, according to Fox Business. Now, social media users are sharing a screenshot of an article that claims he called for the withdrawal of COVID-19 vaccines over safety concerns.

“Bill Gates Regrets Promoting COVID-19 Vaccine, Calls For Its Withdrawal As President Biden Keeps Mute,” reads the headline of the alleged article. One Facebook post that shared the screenshot goes on to quote Gates as saying, “We made a terrible mistake. We wanted to protect people against a dangerous virus. But it turns out the virus is much less dangerous than we thought. And the vaccine is far more dangerous than anyone imagined.”(RELATED: Did Bill Gates Patent A ‘Cv19-N95’ Face Mask Design Years Before The Covid-19 Pandemic)

There is no evidence Gates made this statement or called for the withdrawal of COVID-19 vaccines. Such a development would likely be covered by news outlets such as The New York Times, CNN and Reuters, yet none of these outlets have published such reports. The alleged quote does not appear on Gates’ verified social media accounts, nor do they show up on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation website or Gates Notes, the billionaire’s personal blog.

An internet search reveals the alleged quote stems from an article published in August 2021 by The Exposé, a news site that “was set up due to a lack of alternatives to the lying mainstream media,” according to its “about us” page. “SATIRE – In an alternative universe Bill Gates has called for the withdrawal of all Covid-19 Vaccines,” reads the article’s headline. The story also includes an editor’s note that reads, “when we first published this article we should have made it clear at the beginning that it was satire rather than at the end.”

This is not the first time Gates has been the subject of misinformation around COVID-19. In December 2021, Check Your Fact debunked a tweet that claimed he had created a video game titled “Omicron” in 1999.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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