Bill and Melinda Gates were stockpiling food for years before the coronavirus pandemic broke out. People around the world started stockpiling food and toilet paper as the COVID-19 crisis got underway, but few were as prepared as the Gates apparently were.
Bill and Melinda Gates stockpiled food before coronavirus
Melinda Gates told BBC Radio Live on Thursday that she and Bill had been stockpiling food in anticipation of some sort of pandemic, which turned out to be the coronavirus. She said that "a number of years ago," they discussed what they would do if something happened and there wasn't any clean water or enough food. They talked about what they could do as a family, and they decided to make preparations in case of a pandemic. The Gates couple stockpiled food in their basement in case of emergency.
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She noted that they couldn't prepare with any particular vaccine or drug because "there are no tools" for COVID-19. She also said they were thankful for their privilege and that they aren't struggling to put food on the table like so many families in the world are.
Melinda Gates added that Bill's family stockpiled food in a barrel in their basement when he was a child. He grew up during the Cold War, so the family was prepared in case of a nuclear war with cans of food and water in the basement.
Bill Gates has been warning about a global pandemic since at least as far back as 2010. CNBC notes that he wrote a blog post about it after the H1N1 outbreak in 2009. He has also warned about a pandemic in various interviews over the last several years.
Two years ago, he said during an event hosted by the New England Journal of Medicine and the Massachusetts Medical Society that the world wasn't ready for a pandemic, which should concern everyone.
Gates targeted by coronavirus conspiracy theories
Bill Gates has been trending on social media for months as videos of his pandemic warnings circulated. The New York Times and Zignal Labs collected data they say indicates that the billionaire philanthropist has become the top target for conspiracy theories.
They said conspiracy theories linking Bill Gates with the coronavirus received 1.2 million mentions on TV and social media between February and April. That's 33% more often than the next most popular conspiracy theory, which draws a link between the coronavirus and 5G technology.
The conspiracy theories linking Bill Gates to the coronavirus vary from him releasing COVID-19 to profit from it financially to him conspiring to thin out the human population. Early in the days of the pandemic, there was even a rumor that he had patented the coronavirus. He has also made comments about wanting digital certificates to show who has been vaccinated, which led some to remark that he wanted to microchip everyone.