For the next two months, conspiracies that Gates knew of the virus beforehand or was directly responsible for its creation exploded. And now it’s reached at least one Fox News host.
Mentions of coronavirus-related Bill Gates conspiracy theories have exploded on social media and TV: They were mentioned 1.2 million times in the last two months, according to data provided to the New York Times by the media intelligence firm Zignal Labs.
Those conspiracy theories have spread from fringe right-wing conspiracy theorists, like Alex Jones, to conservative pundits like Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “Digitally tracking Americans’ every move has been a dream of the globalists for years,” Ingraham tweeted in early April. “This health crisis is the perfect vehicle for them to push this.”
The commentary was attached to another tweet, which linked to an article about Bill Gates on a conspiracy theory website that cites an answer Gates gave during a Reddit AMA earlier this year. Gates spoke of a hypothetical “digital certificate” that would certify if people were vaccinated from coronavirus.
According to the piece, “The inevitable mass vaccination campaign to eradicate COVID-19 would be the perfect opportunity to introduce a worldwide digital ID. This system would store a wealth of information about each individual (including vaccination history) and would be used to grant access to rights and services.”
It baselessly claimed that Gates — alongside other rich and powerful people — is using the coronavirus pandemic as a means of instilling a worldwide caste system based on a digital ID.
Ingraham’s followers understood the message: “I will not take a #BillGatesVaccine,” one responded.
Former Trump staffer Roger Stone, who was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison earlier this year, was more direct than Ingraham. “Whether Bill Gates played some role in the creation and spread of this virus is open for vigorous debate,” Stone said in a radio interview, according to a New York Post report. “I have conservative friends who say it’s ridiculous and others say absolutely.”