FactCheck Social Media

Bill Gates didn’t say only the vaccinated would be free to move

2020-09-29 15:54:04

The Statement

A social media post claims Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said “only the people who have all the vaccines will still be able to move freely”.

The Instagram post features an image of Bill Gates alongside the quote, while its caption states: “An actual quote from Bill Gates. Despicable, disgusting and disgraceful.”

The September 24 post had been liked more than 900 times and attracted more than 150 comments at the time of writing.

An Instagram post
 A post claims Bill Gates said only people who receive vaccinations will be able to move freely. 

The Analysis

Technology billionaire Bill Gates did not say the quote, according to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and AAP FactCheck found no record from reputable sources of him making the comments.

Mr Gates has been a vocal supporter of vaccinations saying they have saved the lives of countless people. He also has financially contributed to vaccine research through the foundation bearing his and his wife’s names.

However he has also been the target of numerous hoaxes and conspiracy theories.

AAP FactCheck found earlier examples of the latest quote attributed to Mr Gates, for example here and here. In both examples, the source leads to a YouTube video, “The Truth About Vaccines Docu-Series: Episode 9”, which features a clip of Mr Gates talking about vaccines during a TedTalk discussion (video mark 58min 47sec).

The video does not show Mr Gates saying the quote attributed to him in the post.

In March 2020, Mr Gates participated in a TedTalk discussing how countries should respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the 33min 25sec mark, Mr Gates responds to a question on COVID tests detecting people who have been infected, and what role those tests can play in healthcare once people have achieved immunity to the virus.

“Eventually, what we’ll have to have is certificates of who is a recovered person, who is a vaccinated person, because you don’t want people moving around the world — where you’ll have some countries that won’t have it under control, sadly — you don’t want to completely block off the ability for those people to go there and come back and move around,” he said.

When asked for comment about the Instagram post’s quote, a spokesperson for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation told AAP FactCheck via email: “Bill Gates did not say this.”

AAP FactCheck also conducted an internet search of the purported quote but found no results from credible sources.

A similar quote attributed to Mr Gates was debunked here, and AAP FactCheck has previously fact-checked other statements and positions on vaccines falsely attributed to the billionaire here and here.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates
 The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation told AAP FactCheck the post’s quote was not from Mr Gates. 

The Verdict

Tech billionaire Bill Gates did not say only people who have been vaccinated will be able to move around freely. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation told AAP FactCheck the quote in the Instagram post was not said by Mr Gates, and no credible sources could be found that have attributed the comments to him.

False – The primary claims within this post are factually inaccurate.

* AAP FactCheck is accredited by the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network, which promotes best practice through a stringent and transparent Code of Principles. https://aap.com.au/