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- Bill Gates told the BBC he was surprised by some COVID-19 conspiracy theories.
- He said he thinks people were “looking for a boogeyman” around vaccines.
- Gates has poured billions into researching, developing, and delivering vaccines over the years.
Bill Gates said he was surprised by some COVID-19 conspiracy theories about him and thinks people were “looking for a boogeyman.”
“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,” he told journalist Amol Rajan during an interview the BBC published on Thursday.
“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.
Several COVID-19 conspiracy theories have surrounded Gates in recent years. Some suggest he profited from the virus, while others blamed its entire existence on Gates. He has said previously that he’s faced public harassment with people yelling at him for “putting chips into people.”
Gates has also joked that he was more often the target of conspiracy theories than Anthony Fauci, former chief medical advisor to the president of the United States, because he’s more known internationally.
The Microsoft cofounder has been a public supporter of vaccine efforts, pouring billions into researching, developing, and delivering vaccines through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Gates was also one of the confounders of the Giving Pledge, a promise by some of the world’s wealthiest individuals to give away most of their wealth.
Representatives for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation did not reply to Insider’s request for comment made outside normal working hours.