India Suing Bill Gates? No, Viral Facebook Post Makes False Claims
The post also claims that Gates is a “globalist who funded the Coronavirus vaccine and owns the Wuhan lab in China.
A Facebook post claiming that India is suing American business magnate and philanthropist Bill Gates because he “vaccinated 77,000 third world girls between the ages of 9 & 15 with the HPV vaccine and many of them died” is going viral.
Gates and Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, are pictured in the viral photograph shared along with the claim.
The post also claims that Gates is a “globalist who funded the coronavirus vaccine and owns the Wuhan lab in China. Soros is his partner.”
We found that the post was viral on Facebook.
The same message and photo was also shared on Twitter.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The post is completely false on many fronts and relies on some popular conspiracy theories to put forth the claims that it does. We will break it down in various parts.
WHAT WE FOUND
Firstly, we found that the photo was being shared with a false context. On reverse-searching the image, we found that the photo dates back to 11 December 2018, and is from a consultative workshop on global health held by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation along with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, US.
The original photo, which we found on Wikipedia Commons, sourced from the NIH Image Gallery, also pictured Dr Francis Collins (right), NIH director, who had been cropped out in the viral version of the photo.
Therefore, as the viral message claims, this photo has no connection to Gates’ trip to India, which actually took place in November 2019, nearly a year after this photo was taken.
GATES FUNDED THE VACCINE?
Secondly, let us address the claim that Gates funded the coronavirus vaccine and owns the Wuhan lab in China, and that Soros is his partner.
This claim is not new and has been doing the rounds since January, when the coronavirus spread led to the beginnings of COVID-related fake news. Back then, this was the claim The Quint had come across:
“In 2015, the Pirbright Institute filed a patent for a live attenuated coronavirus to be used in the production of vaccines. The Pirbright Institute is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and recently received $5.5 million dollars to do what they do. They were ‘coincidentally chosen’ to create the vaccine behind this current outbreak.”
We had also debunked this claim, which was a part of a larger post linking both Bill and Melinda Gates to the coronavirus outbreak, here.
However, as we had clarified before, the patent that this post refers to is for a coronavirus that infects ANIMALS, not humans. A Fact check by The Annenberg Public Policy Center reveals that the patent No 10,130,701, which can be seen by anyone here, and was filed by the Pirbright Institute, works only to prevent viral diseases in poultry and birds.
On its website, the Pirbright Institute has stated categorically that it “does not currently work with human coronaviruses.”
And while Pirbright has received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it is not unusual as the Foundation routinely gives money to research institutions that are involved in vaccine development.
Further, the claim that billionaire investor George Soros has anything to do with such a lab has also been debunked by Snopes here.
INDIA SUING GATES?
Third and lastly, for the claim that “India is suing Bill Gates because he vaccinated 77,000 third world girls between the ages of 9 & 15 with the HPV vaccine and many of them died.”
This claim, like the ones above, is false and misleading.
It is based on the fact that in 2009, all the eligible girls in 10-14 years age-group in three blocks in the districts of Khammam, Andhra Pradesh and Vadodara, Gujarat were vaccinated with a cervical cancer vaccine, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.
This was part of a global project, titled “HPV Vaccine: Evidence for Impact” which was carried out in India, Peru, Uganda and Vietnam. An American NGO – Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) – carried out the project in collaboration with state governments and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
However, according to the report, all the three doses in the 13,791 girls in Andhra Pradesh were completed, but in Gujarat only 9,637 out of 10,259 girls had received the third injection of the vaccine when the study was suspended in March 2010. This was because of reports of the deaths of seven of the girls who had received the HPV vaccine under the PATH project.
In order to inquire into these deaths, a committee was constituted by the Government of India. According to the committee’s findings, there were five deaths from Andhra and two from Gujarat.
Out of the five deaths reported from Andhra Pradesh, two died due to consumption of organophosphorus and one drowned. The committee also said in its report that the fourth girl died of an unrelated disease, unlinked to HPV, while the fifth “possibly died of severe malaria after eight days of treatment in health facilities.”
With respect to Gujarat, one girl died of snake bite and the other of severe malaria. Therefore, the committee observed that there was no reason to suggest that the deaths were caused by the vaccine.
However, regarding irregularities such as improperly obtained consent forms, the report did conclude that “the Committee has identified several deficiencies in the planning as well as implementation of the project, which led to the crisis requiring suspension of the study.”
Therefore, the claim that the viral post makes, that the girls died because of the vaccination is proved to be misleading and baseless, as per an enquiry conducted by the government.
This brings us back to the claim that India is suing Gates over this vaccination. This is both false and misleading because the organisation that ran the project is PATH, and the study in question was merely funded by a grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The project itself was not run by Gates in any way. Moreover, we did not find any reports of the Government of India suing PATH over this project, much less Gates.
Therefore, it is clear that the post is a combination of multiple false and misleading claims and has no basis in truth.
(With inputs from Snopes)
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