Bill Gates is now the leading target for coronavirus conspiracy theories

Bill Gates saw the coronavirus outbreak coming and since it hit has been working to try and inform the public and invest in finding a vaccine.

However, the Microsoft co-founder who now runs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has become the target for a multitude of Covid-19 conspiracy theories.

That Gates created the pandemic to profit from a vaccine or that the outbreak is his way of ‘culling’ humanity are just two of the ridiculous theories doing the rounds.

Of course, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown up a huge challenge in terms of managing information and other conspiracy theories surrounding the virus have thrived.

But research from Zignal Labs, a San Francisco firm that analyses media sources like TV and social media to understand trends says the Gates conspiracy theories are growing exponentially.

Hoaxes surrounding Gates and Covid-19 have spread across Facebook, YouTube and Twitter so much that they outnumbered the 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory by 33% from February to April.

Part of the fuel for these theories may come from the fact Gates has been an outspoken critic of President Trump and the way he’s handled the crisis in the US.

Since leaving the Microsoft, Gates set up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife and turned completely to philanthropy.

They have tackled the likes of polio and malaria around the world and warned for years about the dangers of infectious diseases.

Addressing a TED Talk five years ago, Gates, 64, warned the next ‘global catastrophe’ would not be caused by war, but by a virus.

He said: ‘If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war – not missiles, but microbes.’

‘Part of the reason for this is we have invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents, but we’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic.

‘We’re not ready for the next epidemic.’

Now the billionaire is doing what he can to fight the outbreak. He wrote there are currently six different efforts going on around the world to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

‘This could happen before 18 months if everything goes well, but we and [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony] Fauci and others are being careful not to promise this when we are not sure.

‘The work is going at full speed,’ he wrote.

Gates explained that if a vaccine is developed, it should go to health care workers and ‘critical workers’ first.

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