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A Bill Gates conspiracy theory trended on Twitter, as the billionaire continues to be at the center of false coronavirus claims



A Bill Gates conspiracy theory trended on Twitter, as the billionaire continues to be at the center of false coronavirus claims

  • Billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates has pledged a quarter billion dollars to combating the coronavirus pandemic through his foundation.
  • Gates has also been the focus of false conspiracies that have claimed he knew about the pandemic beforehand or was even responsible for it.
  • “#ExposeBillGates” was trending on Twitter over the weekend as the result of coordinated efforts by conspiracy theorists.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Bill Gates remains a major target of conspiracy theorists around the world, as “#ExposeBillGates” was trending on Twitter over the weekend. The coronavirus pandemic has only increased online conspiracies about the Microsoft cofounder and billionaire, as false claims say Gates knew about the virus before it spread, or that he was even somehow responsible for it.

On Saturday, Politico correspondent Mark Scott noticed that “#ExposeBillGates” was trending on Twitter in North America and Europe, and found that activists on Reddit, 4chan, and other websites coordinated efforts to get the hashtag attention.

Alex Kaplan, a researcher at Media Matters, found that the hashtag was part of a day of action from online activists calling for “a non-partisan coalition of alternative media organizations and activists groups” to “expose Bill Gates and his control agenda.” The hashtag was amplified by QAnon accounts, as well as far-right figures like Michelle Malkin, who was part of an earlier online pledge to not receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Gates has been the focus of coronavirus conspiracy theories since at least January. Online activists have used Gates’ famous TED Talk on the danger of pandemics, along with his $250 million contribution to fighting coronavirus through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as evidence that Gates knew about COVID-19.

Some unsubstantiated theories — shared by fringe figures like Alex Jones and Fox News host Laura Ingraham — have claimed that Gates and other powerful figures were using the pandemic as an excuse to digitally track the world’s population. Gates has also been the target of anti-vaccination activists, who have pledged not to take a coronavirus vaccine if one becomes available.

Bill Gates has been critical of President Trump and the US response to the coronavirus. “Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds,” he tweeted on April 15, soon after President Trump announced intentions to cut funding for the World Health Organization. “Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever.”

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Former head of MI6 says theory coronavirus was made in Wuhan lab ‘must not be dismissed as conspiracy’ – Encyclopedic News



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A former British spy chief says he wants a more open debate on the origin of the coronavirus pandemic and warns against dismissing as conspiracy the idea that it might have come from a laboratory.

Sir Richard Dearlove doubled down on his belief the virus that causes COVID-19 was engineered and escaped by accident from a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the first victims were identified.

His opinion contrasts with a prevailing view among scientific experts as well as the US and British intelligence communities that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was not man-made.

Sir Richard Dearlove, Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge; former Chief, British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) takes part in the panel discussion
Image: Sir Richard Dearlove is a former chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)

The intervention comes as a team of scientists from the World Health Organisation (WHO) prepares to fly to China this week to investigate the origin of a disease that has killed more than half a million people globally.

I subscribe to the theory that its an engineered escapee from the Wuhan Institute (of Virology), said Sir Richard, who served as head of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, between 1999 and 2004.

I am not saying anything other than it was the result of an accident and that the virus is the consequence of gain-of-function experiments that were being conducted in Wuhan, which I dont think are particularly sinister.

Sir Richard was referring to a type of scientific research that can be carried out to modify viruses.

There is an accumulation of evidence that this is something that has to be openly discussed in the scientific community, the former spy chief said.

If we are going to have an inquiry in the UK which Im sure will happen about the pandemic and government policy it will have to start with the science. Where did this virus actually come from?

Matt Hancock
May: There isnt evidence COVID-19 is man-made

But the widely-held view among scientists is that the novel coronavirus most likely occurred naturally.

They believe it probably passed from an animal the prime suspect is a bat to a human, possibly via an intermediary species, but without any genetic engineering or man-made modifications.

There is no doubt that this was a natural event, said Dr Rachael Tarlinton, an associate professor of veterinary virology at the University of Nottingham.

The artificial release theories seem to be a form of magical thinking a simplistic solution to a complex problem where if someone can be blamed then that someone can be removed and the problem go away, she said in an email exchange.

Unfortunately real life just doesnt work this way manipulating viruses in the lab to change their pathogenicity is actually quite difficult and unpredictable and any group that had the ability to work on something like this would be well aware of how hard this is, she said.

We knew spillover from animals was a risk The virus may have passed through an intermediate species on its way into the human population from bats but we may never know which animal this was candidates include pangolins and small carnivores like palm civets or mongooses. Unfortunately we cant go back in time and start monitoring from before the outbreak so we only have very patchy samples to try and work this out from.

This lack of a clear evidence trail is viewed with suspicion by some.

So too is the fact that the virus was so well adapted to transmitting among people and throughout different parts of the body from the moment it was first identified late last year.

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May: Trump confident COVID-19 originated in Wuhan lab

The existence in Wuhan of two laboratories that have conducted research into coronaviruses in bats is also seen by those supportive of the lab theory to be more than just a coincidence.

A top official at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which has drawn the most suspicion, has said there is no way the virus came from us.

Yuan Zhiming, a vice director at the institute, was quoted by a Chinese state broadcaster in April as saying: We have a strict regulatory regimen. We have a code of conduct for research so we are confident of that.

Why are there rumours? he asked. Because the Institute of Virology [is] in Wuhan people cant help but make associations, which I think is understandable. But it is bad when some are deliberately trying to mislead people. This is entirely based on speculation.

He also denied that the virus was man-made.

With COVID-19 responsible for so much death and economic damage, the mystery about its origin has become a highly-political topic as well as a scientific one.

It has added fuel to already heated hostilities between the United States and China.

US President Donald Trump, who blames Beijing for the pandemic, claimed in April that he had seen evidence it had come from a laboratory.

The US intelligence community took the unusual step of releasing a statement to say it concurred with the consensus view that the disease was not man-made, but spies are investigating whether the virus might have been held in a laboratory and leaked accidentally.

Its understood that Britains intelligence and security services dont believe the theory that the virus was manufactured.

Sir Richard said: I am just staggered. They clearly havent read the science. And they havent attempted to understand it. The onus is now on the leadership of China to explain why the theory and the hypothesis that it could be engineered is wrong.

Sir Richard first spoke about his coronavirus theory in The Daily Telegraph last month.

He told Sky News his thinking has been shaped in part by the work of a British clinical scientist called Professor Angus Dalgleish and Birger Sorensen, chairman of Norwegian company Immunor, which is seeking to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

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The two men have published a paper offering an alternative theory on a vaccine for coronavirus.

They have written other related coronavirus papers, including one that explores their belief it is more likely the virus was manipulated in a laboratory than occurring naturally.

This research has yet to be accepted by a journal for publication.

The pair said they wanted to challenge work on the origin of COVID-19 published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine in March, which ruled out lab-meddling.

I thought the whole point of a scientific journal was that you put forward some speculation and you opened it up to debate, said Professor Dalgleish, who is a professor of oncology at the Institute for Infection and Immunity at St Georges University London. He is also principal of the Institute for Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapy.

Disagree all you want thats how you get to the right answers.

He and Mr Sorensen say they have gone against the scientific consensus before with their research on treatment for HIV.

We maintained a very good friendship and working relationship, the British clinician said, explaining how they came to collaborate on COVID-19. He also holds stock options in Mr Sorensens vaccine company.

Sir Richard challenged Nature to publish the two mens paper on the origin of the virus.

Sky News understands that it was submitted but not accepted.

Magdalena Skipper, editor in chief of Nature, said she was not permitted to discuss individual papers and whether or not they had been received or turned down.

However, as an editor and previously a researcher, she said it was crucial to keep an open mind when it comes to science and to engage in discussion.

But in the end if one doesnt see many publications in favour of a certain theory, one has to conclude that thats because there isnt robust evidence in favour of that theory. Rather than seeking alternative explanations for that. Because after all it is that focus on the evidence in support of a theory which is the focus of research and how conclusions are made, she said.

Professor Kristian Andersen at the department of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research, a medical research facility in California, was lead author on the March paper that argued the new coronavirus evolved naturally and not from a laboratory.

He defended his work and attacked the vaccine paper by Mr Sorensen and Professor Dalgleish, describing it as complete nonsense, unintelligible, and not even remotely scientific leading the authors to make unfounded and unsupported conclusions about the origin of SARS-CoV-2.

In an emailed statement, sent by a colleague, Professor Andersen added: As we describe in our paper, all the data strongly suggest that this is a natural virus no scientific data has been put forward suggesting otherwise, including in the present study.

Mr Sorensen defended his approach.

What nonsense? He is nonsense. He has no support. He says [originating from a laboratory] cannot happen. Of course this can happen, he said.

Sky News has spoken to four other scientists who believe that the lab theory should not be ruled out, though they did not say it was more likely than a natural explanation.

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Professor Richard Ebright of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University in New Jersey was dismissive of the Dalgleish-Sorensen paper but he took issue with Professor Andersens piece in Nature too, describing it as opinion.

The op-eds conclusion that SARS-CoV-2 genome shows no signatures of purposeful human manipulation is correct, he said in an email exchange.

The absence of signatures rules out the possibility the virus was engineered using methods that leave signatures. However, the absence of signatures of manipulation does not rule out the possibility the virus was engineered using widely employed including at WIV methods that do not leave signatures. The op-ed does not even address the possibility that an unpublished WIV bat coronavirus could be the progenitor of SARS-CoV-2.

He pushed back on condemning those who consider a lab leak as conspiracy theorists.

By definition, an accident cannot be a conspiracy, he said.

Persons who use term conspiracy theory to describe possibility of accidental release reveal themselves to be unable to read, unable to reason, or uninterested in truth.

He signalled that the only way to reach the truth would be through an independent, forensic investigation, which would require access to places like the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

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April: UK probes Wuhan lab coronavirus link

In Australia, Professor Nikolai Petrovsky at Flinders University is also keeping an open mind.

He said normally a virus that jumps from an animal takes time to become good at infecting a human.

Whereas what appears to have happened with COVID-19 is from day one it was perfectly adapted to infect humans and to transmit between humans which is why its been such a big problem, he said.

So then you have to ask: well, how did that happen?

One possibility of course is that it was just a massive fluke The other possibility that you have to consider in terms of where its origins may come from is: Has this virus seen human cells before in a situation we simply werent aware of? And so one of those situations would be if the virus had been growing in human cells in the laboratory.

He too was concerned about scientific research that supports the lab theory not being published.

Its always fraught with difficulty when you have a scientific question that runs up against a political issue, Professor Petrovsky said. I think that COVID-19 and its origins is one of those areas where unfortunately we have enormous amount of politics overlaid over the science. And so it gets harder to get to the truth in that context.

Former head of MI6 says theory coronavirus was made in Wuhan lab must not be dismissed as conspiracy

A former British spy chief says he wants a more open debate on the origin of the coronavirus pandemic and warns against dismissing as conspiracy the idea that it might have come from a laboratory.

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Covid-19 conspiracy theories not among reasons given for test refusal in Victoria



No one in Victoria is known to have cited a conspiracy theory for declining to take a Covid-19 test, the states health department has said, despite the health minister, Jenny Mikakos, blaming such beliefs for some of the 10,000 refusals as mass testing is carried out across Melbournes hotspot suburbs.

A spokeswoman from the health department told Guardian Australia on Friday: People have declined a test for reasons such as not wanting to do nasal swabs and showing a preference for saliva testing, and language barriers which our massive team of door-knockers try to overcome.

Guardian Australia had specifically asked the department if conspiracy theories were a reason people had declined the non-compulsory tests.

Door-knockers have been doing either testing, community education or both, the department spokeswoman said.

The response contradicted comments from Mikakos on Friday that belief in conspiracy theories was among the range of reasons for test refusal.

We are analysing that data to see exactly why people are refusing, but it is concerning that some people believe that coronavirus is a conspiracy or that it wont impact on them, so what I want to stress here is that coronavirus is a very contagious virus, she said. It can go through your family very quickly, it can affect your neighbours, your loved ones, and your entire community. So for those individuals in those communities who have not yet been tested, we are urging them to get tested as quickly as possible.

Guardian Australia has contacted Mikakos for comment.

The comments followed 65 new cases being announced in Victoria on Friday and 108 on Saturday after 17 days of double-digit growth, with a continuing and concerning number of new cases associated with transmission in households and families. Public health workers and legal experts have expressed concern that members of the community in hotspot suburbs may be unfairly criticised by people in non-lockdown suburbs, or overly targeted by police who are patrolling areas under lockdown to ensure people only leave for legitimate reasons.

Adding to confusion for residents in hotspot suburbs are mixed messages about who requires a test. While the government has said anyone in a hotspot suburb under lockdown can receive a free test even if they have no symptoms, a video seen by Guardian Australia shows two door-to-door workers who appear to be from the department of health tell a family they do not need to be tested as they are not symptomatic.

The video, taken on 29 June during the blitz, shows the two men, dressed in orange department of health vests and purple lanyards visiting a home in the hotspot suburb of Keilor Downs.

The tests are going on in the [nearby] avenue if you have any symptoms or anything? the workers told a resident of the home. When the resident replied that no one in his home had symptoms, the public health worker replied: Oh, thats all right. The other public health worker mentioned a kit that would allow the resident and their family to be tested at home, but the first worker cut him off and said, No, its all right. If you dont have any symptoms, its fine.

The resident replied: We dont have any symptoms but we can get tested, but was still not given a test kit. The first worker told him: Please make sure you maintain inside please, before the pair left. The interaction lasted about 30 seconds. The resident, Dave, who asked Guardian Australia not to include his last name, said he was concerned this interaction would be counted in the test refusal figures.

Theres no clarity right now so we dont know, Dave said. We dont know whats being counted in refusal, whats being miscounted … There is no detail behind what anybodys saying so I cant tell. He said that after the interaction he took his family to be tested despite being told it wasnt necessary.

[The workers] were fairly confused, they didnt understand what I needed to do, what I didnt need to do … I mean I can see why it might be inconsistent for people who dont speak English, as well as elderly folk.

The department of health and the premiers office declined to comment on the video or if the interaction would be counted as a refusal, but a spokeswoman for the premier confirmed that every household visited during the blitz should have been told to get tested.

Anyone living in the restricted postcodes is encouraged to get tested for coronavirus regardless of whether they have symptoms, she said.

All staff working on our suburban testing blitz are briefed ahead of their shift to ensure they can provide advice to residents about symptoms, hygiene and current restrictions, as well as how they can get tested.

Team members are a combination of department of health personnel, trained public health staff, and newly recruited staff. Since the blitz started last Thursday, more than 150,000 samples have been collected across the state and more than 94,900 doors have been knocked on.

While there has been misinformation spread via text messages and on social media, the department of health and premiers office have provided no detail about whether locked-down communities have been more likely to believe these conspiracy theories. This is despite Victorias chief health officer, Prof Brett Sutton, saying on 24 June that conspiracy theories may be partially responsible for the Victorian spike.

A woman named Ann contacted Guardian Australia to say she had received a text message that purported to be a police bulletin. The text warned against answering the door to door-knockers. It read: People are going door to door handing out masks, they say its a new initiative from local government. They will always ask you to please put it on to see if it fits you.

It has been doused with chemicals which knocks you out cold and once youre knocked out they proceed to rob you. Please do not accept masks from strangers. Remember, we are living in critical times and people are desperate to take advantage with the aim of making money. Crime rate has skyrocketed, so please be cautious and play safe!

Please send to all your friends, colleagues and loved ones so as to help them stay vigilant in this adverse situation. A spokesman for Victoria police said the message had also been widely circulating on social media for some months, long before the lockdown.

Meanwhile, Sarah Carter, the mayor of Maribyrnong city council, which contains suburbs among the hotspots, blamed entitlement on people declining to be tested.

It makes me feel incredibly angry, she told Channel Nine on Wednesday. I just think its the height of entitlement, to be honest, not to take the test, and I would urge everyone in our community, when asked, to take that test.

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YRKKH Upcoming Story: Sita Suhasini’s shocking past connection unlock present conspiracy



YRKKH Upcoming Story: Sita Suhasini's shocking past connection unlock present conspiracy

Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai Upcoming Story: Sita (Alka Kaushal) and Suhasini’s (Swati Chitins) shocking past connection, unlock present conspiracy 

Star Plus longest running show Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai is gearing up for interesting twist.

The show is returning back for its audiences on 13th July, the makers are bringing in new dhamaka.

Goenka’s are suffering a business loss and are trying to compensate for the same by getting deals.

Here Sita marks her entry and Dadi is eager for Goenka to do business with her and asks Kartik to get the deal.

Sita and Suhasini’s past friendship

While now Naira ends up messing all and thus has to play double role game, while Sita is well aware of it.

Sita and Suhasini very well knows each other and were friends at sometime, Sita is back to seek revenge of past from Suhasini I’m the disguise of friendship.

Will Naira and Kartik be able to learn this shocking fact, stay tuned for more exciting updates only on entertainment news website

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