Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has been talking about the coronavirus pandemic, and he thinks more should be done to contain it. TED interviewed him on Thursday, but before that interview, he did an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit.
During that session, he talked about "digital certificates" revealing who has recovered from COVID-19 or been vaccinated for it. Some are now worried that Bill Gates wants to embed microchips in everyone, but that may be easier said than done. Bill Gates has been the center of other conspiracies in the past. But is the story about implanting humans with microchips true? The answer is yes, Bill Gates does suggest such a remedy.
Here's what Bill Gates would do about the coronavirus
Gates has been working to curb serious infections like polio through his organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In his TED interview, Bill Gates talked about what he would be doing about the coronavirus if he were president. He said he would prioritize isolation across the country. He noted that China's isolation period lasted about six weeks, and he said countries which do isolation "well" should start to see the number of new infections go down. He also called for an "extreme shutdown" lasting six to 10 weeks.
He disagrees with President Donald Trump, who wants to see the economy back up and running by Easter. Bill Gates called it "very irresponsible" to suggest that it's possible to fight the coronavirus while also keeping the economy up and running.
Bill Gates on "digital certificates" for the coronavirus vaccine
Gates made similar comments about fighting the coronavirus on his Ask Me Anything Reddit thread. He said countries that do a good job testing for the virus and staying shut down should start to see a significant decline in new cases within six to 10 weeks. At that point, he believes the country could start to open back up again.
One comment he made that has caused concern for some is what he said about "digital certificates," which will record whether or not someone has been vaccinated for the coronavirus.
"Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it," he said on Reddit.
Gates may have been referring to the quantum-dot tattoos under development by researchers at MIT and Rice University. These tattoos are designed to hold records for vaccination histories. In December, researchers from the two universities said they were developing the tattoos after Gates asked them to find a solution for identifying those who haven't been vaccinated for various diseases.
Why it may be too soon to worry
Some Redditors on another thread debated whether it would even be possible for Gates' idea of digital vaccination records to be enacted right now. One expressed concern that an embedded microchip with a digital vaccination record for the coronavirus might be required in order to leave the house at some point in the future.
However, others noted that governments have not mandated other vaccinations, so they might not mandate the vaccination for COVID-19. In Gates' comment, he did use the word "eventually," and the technology he was probably referring to was still in development. Thus, it seems a bit early to worry about being forced to have embedded microchips installed. Such conspiracies are a sign of the times as fear is running at extreme levels right now.
This doesn't mean that embedded microchips won't become a reality at some point, but it seems a little too early to worry about it right now.