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Bill Gates Had This to Say About Those Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories

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Bill Gates Had This to Say About Those Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories

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Is Bill Gatesalong with a coalition dubbed “ID 2020″seeking to “microchip” the global population using a COVID-19 vaccine? That question alone suggests many levels of nefariousness from the billionaire founder of Microsoft and the Gates Foundation, the latter of which has funded a fight on global pandemics. But it is definitely something people are asking. Internet hoax debunker Snopes has even said this conspiracy theory has no basis in fact. But people still seem to believe that Gates is behind the coronavirus pandemic and is using it to create a vaccine that would include the insertion of a microchip so that people could be tracked, or controlled in some way. And now, Gates himself is finally speaking out.

In a call with the media last week, the Microsoft founder responded to the conspiracies about him, saying (according to the New York Post): “The misinformation thing is just so weird. Most of the people I talk to aren’t the ones who are subject to that, so I don’t have any direct connection to it to understand it.”

a bill gates protestor amid coronavirus in florida
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Gates continued: “In a way, it’s so bizarre, you almost want to view it as something humorous, but I guess it’s really not a humorous thing. I’ve never been involved in any sort of microchip-type thing. It’s almost hard to deny this stuff because it’s so stupid or strange that to even repeat it almost seems to give it credibility.”

In recent months, the theory about Gates has spread all over social media platformslike YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. And on top of that, according to a Yahoo News/YouGov poll from late May, 44 percent of Republicans and 19 percent of Democrats believe that Gates is plotting to use a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign as a pretext to implant microchips in billions of people and monitor their movements.

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Alex Kasprak of Snopes believes this is where the rumor stemmed from:

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation did fund apilot studyconducted by MIT and Rice University researchers into a potential vaccine-delivery device that could impart an invisible mark detectable by a smartphone. This study was theoretical, the technology described was passive, and the device was incapable of any sort of tracking or monitoring. Still, much of the credence lent to the false notion that Gates has designs to track you using vaccines comes from mixing the existence of that pilot study with another public health concept Gates is actively involved in researching called a “digital identity.”

Gates has, however, advocated for contact tracing, which could be at the root of these theories. In March, he participated in a Reddit AMA, and said, “In Seattle, the [University of Washington] is providing thousands of tests per day but no one is connected to a national tracking system. Whenever there is a positive test it should be seen to understand where the disease is and whether we need to strengthen the social distancing.”

The issue of contact tracing has been a politically charged one in the U.S., with many citizens concerned about their privacy. In May, both Apple and Google released COVID-19 contact-tracing technology, allowing government health agencies to build smartphone apps to track the spread of the coronavirus. According to reporting by Business Insider, only three of the 50 states in the U.S. have confirmed plans to use the contact-tracing technology. And for more myths surrounding a treatment for COVID-19, check out 5 Dangerous Myths About the Coronavirus Vaccine You Need to Stop Believing.



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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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