From the very beginning of the effort to vaccinate Americans against the COVID-19 pandemic, there were rumors and murmurs about Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ role in the process.
Gates has long been a bit of a boogeyman for the conspiracy underworld, and his involvement in such an enormous undertaking had many wondering what exactly he was really up to. There were even rumors that the vaccines being distributed would somehow contain a secret microchip that could be used by Gates to somehow expand his alleged evil empire.
And while that may seem completely ridiculous on its face, that’s not to say that Gates isn’t making some surprising maneuvers as of late.
Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest men and most powerful philanthropists, was the target of criticism from social justice campaigners on Sunday after arguing that lifting patent protections on COVID-19 vaccine technology and sharing recipes with the world to foster a massive ramp up in manufacturing and distribution — despite a growing international call to do exactly that — is a bad idea.
Directly asked during an interview with Sky News if he thought it “would be helpful” to have vaccine recipes be shared, Gates quickly answered: “No.”
Asked to explain why not, Gates — whose massive fortune as founder of Microsoft relies largely on intellectual property laws that turned his software innovations into tens of billions of dollars in personal wealth — said: “Well, there’s only so many vaccine factories in the world and people are very serious about the safety of vaccines. And so moving something that had never been done — moving a vaccine, say, from a [Johnson & Johnson] factory into a factory in India — it’s novel — it’s only because of our grants and expertise that that can happen at all.”
The stance saw Gates lambasted on social media, with users suggesting that his unwillingness to share these recipes, particularly in places where the communal knowledge would benefit the poorest among us, would be considered akin to “eugenics”.
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