Bill Gates has addressed theories linking him to COVID-19 conspiracies in a recent interview.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Mr Gates defended his support and funding of vaccines, saying that he thinks money invested in the life-saving measure is better spent than money that finances the prospect of humans travelling to Mars — referencing Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to colonise the planet.
“During the pandemic, there were tens of millions of messages that I intentionally caused it, or I’m tracking people. It’s true I’m involved with vaccines, but I’m involved with vaccines to save lives,” Mr Gates said.
Mr Gates, whose foundation has donated large sums to the development of vaccines, had previously told The Guardian that he often ran into people “yelling at [him] that[he’s] putting chips into people.”
Mr Gates told the BBC that he did not expect the backlash, but understood that anti-vaxxers were looking for a “boogeyman.”
“These messages sort of inverted that. I guess people are looking for the ‘boogeyman’ behind the curtain, the over-simplistic explanation. Malevolence is a lot easier to understand than biology,” he said.
Mr Gates said Mr Musk could one day become a “great philanthropist,” but criticised his investments in research to travel to Mars.
“It’s actually quite expensive to go to Mars. You can buy measles vaccines and save lives for $1,000 per life saved,” he told the network. “And so [that] just kind of grounds you, as in – don’t go to Mars.”