44% Of Republicans Think Bill Gates Will Implant Microchips With COVID Vaccine
According to a C-Net report, a survey administered by YouGov and Yahoo News found that a conspiracy theory about Bill Gates and future coronavirus vaccines is beginning to take hold largely among conservatives.
- The survey asked 1,640 US adults about their attitudes about the pandemic and where they receive information.
- The survey found “half of respondent Americans who say Fox News is their primary television news” believe that Bill Gates is using the coronavirus vaccine to implant microchips to surveil Americans after the pandemic is over.
- The Fox News group was the most likely to subscribe to this conspiracy, with self-identified Republicans and those who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 coming in second and third most likely.
- Among these two groups, 44 percent believed the conspiracy theory and 26 percent of Republicans believed it was not true, while 31 percent were unsure.
Fighting misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic has proven almost as difficult as fighting the virus. As the American public becomes more polarized, there is a disconnect in what Americans on the right and left accept as scientific fact. Many believe 5G wireless technology played a part in exacerbating the pandemic. This led to almost 80 cell towers in the United Kingdom being vandalized.
Social media websites are also a massive source of dangerous misinformation, becoming an echo chamber of confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance. Websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube are adding more information to conspiracy posts to direct people toward accurate information. In some cases they are also pulling posts from their websites.
The report added that the Bill Gates conspiracy is the most prevalent among coronavirus conspiracy theories. This is likely due to his high profile attempts to have people vaccinated, coupled with his open critique of the US government’s initial response.
Gates said in a column he penned for the Washington Post, “There's no question the United States missed the opportunity to get ahead of the novel coronavirus.”