HYDERABAD: A WhatsApp forward claiming Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has called for the withdrawal of all COVID-19 vaccines is viral.
It is being claimed that Gates has asked for vaccines to be taken off the market immediately as "they are far more dangerous than anyone imagined."
The claim is attributed to a website called 'Daily Expose.'
The viral forward reads: "BREAKING NEWS. Bill Gates CONFESSES calls for the withdrawal of all Covid-19 Vaccines; "The vaccines are far more dangerous than anyone imagined" BY DAILY EXPOSE ON AUGUST 29, 2021. In a shocking announcement, Bill Gates, billionaire Microsoft co-founder and the major force behind the COVID-19 vaccines, called for all the COVID-19 genetic-based vaccines to be taken off the market immediately."
The claim is also being shared on Twitter.
NewsMeter found that the viral message was taken from a satire article published by 'Daily Expose' dated 29 August 2021. The headline of the article reads, "SATIRE – In an alternative universe Bill Gates has called for the withdrawal of all Covid-19 Vaccines." (view here)
The article, however, carries a disclaimer. The editorial note states that the article is satirical in nature. It reads, "Note from The Editor – when we first published this article we should have made it clear at the beginning that it was satire rather than at the end. We did not do this and we apologize."
Additionally, NewsMeter did not find any such statement of Bill Gates regarding withdrawing COVID-19 vaccines.
In 2020, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates emerged as a leading voice in the effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. He has been the subject of many conspiracies.
Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation have always advocated for COVID-19 vaccines. The FAQ page on the website reads: "Getting safe vaccines out to the whole world will help bring the pandemic to an end," and "Billions of vaccines have been administered globally and there is significant safety data that regulatory bodies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration review to determine that vaccines are safe."
Clearly, a satirical article has been falsely shared to claim that Gates had called for the withdrawal of all COVID-19 vaccines.