NEARLY half of Republican voters and a nearly quarter of Democrats believe that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will use COVID-19 vaccinations to implant microchips in billions of people, according to a survey.
Published Monday, the research by Yahoo News/YouGov revealed that 44 percent of GOP voters and 19 percent of Democrats believed the Gates conspiracy was true.
Only 26 percent of GOP voters thought it was untrue that Gates intended to implant vaccine-delivered microchips.
The conspiracy theory has been debunked, with Gates never proposing such a program – and the technology to do so is still entirely theoretical.
The chip rumor appears to have come about after a pilot study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and published last year explored the possibility that vaccine-delivery technology could be designed to implant a tracer inside patients that could then be registered by a smartphone.
Though the technology does not yet exist, Gates' outspokenness about fighting the pandemic coupled with many Americans' distrust of vaccines and a fear of living in a surveillance state has fueled the online paranoia.
The rumor has been pushed by legions of anti-vaxxers, who have long attacked Gates' vaccine advocacy and who have doubled down in recent months due to the coronavirus.
Some have even suggested that Gates engineered the virus for personal profit.
The same Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that 56 percent of Americans surveyed are "very" concerned about “false or misleading information being communicated about coronavirus.”
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