A YouTube video from Rebel News claims that Bill Gates is calling for the mandatory vaccination of all people, and states that the billionaire Microsoft co-founder wants pregnant people and children to be forced to take it. The video also claims that those who receive the vaccine will face a 1-in-10,000 chance of death. Both of these claims are Not Legit. Here’s how we fact-checked it.
Who is behind the information?
With any fact check, a good place to start is to take a look at who is sharing the information. This can reveal a lot, like if they’re biased, or if they’re an expert. A quick keyword search of “Rebel News,” brought up its Wikipedia page.
Using Wikipedia the right way
Wikipedia can be a good starting point for fact-checking. That said, there is a right way and a wrong way to use it. Wikipedia pages that are more trustworthy will have a lock symbol in the upper right corner. This means that the page can’t be edited by just anyone. You should also follow the little numbers down to the references to make sure you’re getting the whole story (most fact-checkers just head straight to the bottom). You also want to look and see if there is a warning at the top of the page. Wikipedia puts a disclaimer on the pages that may be biased or not well-sourced.
Here’s how Wikipedia described Rebel News: It’s a Canadian far-right political and social commentary media website. Additionally, the channel is known to broadcast anti-Muslim ideology.
Try doing a keyword search
Now that we know more about who is sharing the information, the next step is to try a keyword search. Using words like “Bill Gates Coronavirus Vaccine Mandatory,” we found this article from PolitiFact. According to the article, there was an edited video of Gates circulating the web a little while back in which he said, “You don’t have a choice.” However, PolitiFact reported that the video was taken out of context, and was edited to remove the question Gates was actually responding to. PolitiFact ultimately labeled the claim that Gates supports mandatory vaccinations as False.
Head straight to the source
Checking out Gates’ personal blog, GatesNotes, he did write that we need enough vaccines available to every person — but never uses the word mandatory.
Find primary sources
Now for the claim Rebel News makes that the vaccine comes with a 1-in-10,000 chance of death. The Food and Drug Administration approves all vaccines that are administered, so FDA documents are a really good place to find official stats. Refining our keywords a little, we were able to find the FDA’s briefing document regarding the Pfizer vaccine trials. According to the document, during the trials, two out of 21,000 trial participants who got the vaccine died. One of those two people died from a heart attack while the other died from arteriosclerosis. However, this does not mean that you have a 1-in-10,000 chance of death. It means that one out of 10,000 trial participants died during the trial. It is inaccurate to specifically extrapolate the results of a vaccine trial to an entire population. Another document from the FDA said, “None of these deaths were assessed by the investigator as related to study intervention.” So there isn’t any evidence that suggests that your chance of dying from the COVID-19 vaccine is one in 10,000.
Not Legit. Claims that Gates is calling for mandatory vaccinations stem from an edited and out-of-context video. While Gates has said we need vaccines “available” to almost every person in order to get back to normal, he has never said people should be forced to take it. Additionally, there is no evidence to support the claim that the vaccine comes with a 1-in-10,000 chance of death.
MediaWise is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.