Liberty Counsel Sends Misleading Email About Bill Gates and Pandemics
The ultra-right wing Liberty Counsel sent an email to its supporters on Tuesday decrying vaccine passports and accusing Bill Gates of working to turn the United States into “Communist China.”
“Long before COVID, a plan was hatched to steal your freedom. COVID was the springboard to get people to give up freedom for ‘safety.’ Now dark forces are pushing the greatest crackdown on freedom yet – it comes straight from Communist China under the guise of a ‘vaccine passport’ to restrict travel and entry to businesses and events based on the government’s directives. Will America bow to Big Tech and an app that will track where you buy groceries, dine, shop, work, attend school, attend a political rally or even go to church? A few states are now pushing back, but we need more pushback!” wrote Liberty Counsel President Mat Staver.
He then went on a rant about how Gates, a billionaire philanthropist who has dedicated massive chunks of his fortune to eradicate diseases and poverty all over the world, is supposedly the ringleader of a sinister plot to strip people of their individual liberty.
“Long before COVID-19, Bill Gates was already preparing. He did a TED Talk on epidemics in 2015. It was telling that the very first thing he prioritized was not medicine or hospital supplies. No, the first thing Bill Gates was pushing for in an epidemic was ‘surveillance & data,'” said Staver.
This is true – Gates did warn in 2015 that preventing pandemics requires “surveillance and data” of as-yet-unknown bacteria and viruses, like SARS-COV-2, so that their origins and routes of transmission can be traced and their pathologies can be understood.
Public health data is also crucial in that effort, Gates prophetically explained in his TED Talk:
What are the key pieces? First, we need strong health systems in poor countries. That’s where mothers can give birth safely, kids can get all their vaccines. But, also where we’ll see the outbreak very early on. We need a medical reserve corps: lots of people who’ve got the training and background who are ready to go, with the expertise. And then we need to pair those medical people with the military. taking advantage of the military’s ability to move fast, do logistics and secure areas. We need to do simulations, germ games, not war games, so that we see where the holes are. The last time a germ game was done in the United States was back in 2001, and it didn’t go so well. So far the score is germs: 1, people: 0. Finally, we need lots of advanced R&D in areas of vaccines and diagnostics. There are some big breakthroughs, like the Adeno-associated virus, that could work very, very quickly.
Now I don’t have an exact budget for what this would cost, but I’m quite sure it’s very modest compared to the potential harm. The World Bank estimates that if we have a worldwide flu epidemic, global wealth will go down by over three trillion dollars and we’d have millions and millions of deaths. These investments offer significant benefits beyond just being ready for the epidemic. The primary healthcare, the R&D, those things would reduce global health equity and make the world more just as well as more safe.
Staver stated that Gates “was pushing hard to have electronic medical records so that private medical records could be shared instantly with millions of others,” Staver continued. “Gates went on to call it a ‘global failure’ to not have these things in place, but we were not to worry because he ‘can build a really good response system.’ Gates and others had been planning for years to take advantage of the fear created by a rampant disease.”
Not only is this utter hogwash, it is a recklessly irresponsible statement. Gates, along with public health experts across the globe, have for years sounded alarms that epidemics will become more frequent. The leading causes of outbreaks – from Ebola to Zika to COVID-19 – are deforestation, habitat loss, and reductions in native wildlife populations.
All of those factors, however, are symptoms of a greater problem, and the biggest existential threat facing our species: anthropomorphic, or man-made, climate change.