Bill Gates – the software developer – continued his media blitz to promote his new book about how he believes the world could prevent the next pandemic. Gates' latest appearance was on CNN – where he called for people over the age of 50 to get COVID-19 vaccine boosters every six months. The Microsoft co-founder also presented his thoughts regarding a popular conspiracy theory about him.
Gates, 66, revealed last week that he was infected with COVID.
"I've tested positive for COVID. I'm experiencing mild symptoms and am following the experts' advice by isolating until I'm healthy again," Gates wrote on Twitter. "I'm fortunate to be vaccinated and boosted and have access to testing and great medical care."
Gates caught COVID despite receiving four doses of the vaccine – two original doses and two booster shots.
CNN host Anderson Cooper told Gates that he had "only gotten three shots total," but had also been infected with COVID-19 in April.
Cooper asked the software developer, "So I've been trying to figure this out for myself, but I assume you know the answer to this, so I'll just ask you, when do you get boosted again?"
Gates responded, "Yeah, so an infection where you'll get a high viral load would be like vaccination, but you know to be safe, every six months you're probably going to be vaccinated."
“For people who are 50 or 60, they will probably have to be boosted every six months until we get even better vaccines,” Gates said during a Friday night appearance on "AC360."
"As we get more data, they might even make that shorter for people, you know, say 60 or over 70, where the duration seems to be a bit lower," Gates continued. "So we're in for ongoing vaccination to stay absolutely safe."
Cooper also asked Gates about the popular conspiracy theory that has plagued him over the years.
In the late spring of 2020, unsubstantiated rumors began circulating that the COVID-19 vaccine had tracking microchips in it, and that the Gates Foundation was spending billions of dollars to ensure that all medical procedures implanted microchips into patients.
A YouGov poll from May 2020 found that 28% of Americans believed that "Bill Gates wants to use a mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19 to implant microchips in people that would be used to track people with a digital ID."
Cooper told Gates, "You rightly champion [the vaccine], obviously it’s a wonder of modern science, but there's this paradox that the speed at which it was created also increased perhaps some hesitancy, and I guess and has fueled these conspiracy theories.”
Cooper then asked, "How do you deal with conspiracy theories? People believe you're tracking people through microchips inserted into the vaccine."
Gates responded, "Simple explanations are kind of fun to click on. The one about tracking people, I don’t know why they think I’m interested in knowing people’s locations."
He added, "If it's holding people back from getting vaccinated, then that's tragic."
On the topic of COVID vaccine hesitancy, Gates said, "Well, the hesitancy did go down somewhat, you know, initially it was like at 60% of the population, but as they saw their friends getting vaccinated and very rare side effects, as they saw their friends being protected and the people with severe disease were overwhelmingly the unvaccinated, most people came around."
"Now, the U.S. still has a lower full vaccination rate than many other countries, so we still need to figure out: Who do those people trust? Are they open-minded? Because it's to their benefit and to the people around them," he continued. "So I'm surprised that the U.S., it's been this tough, and, you know, even somewhat a political thing."
Gates addressed another conspiracy theory that he is pushing vaccines to make a profit.
"You know, we've given billions for vaccines and saved millions of lives," he stated. "If you just kind of invert that and say, 'No, we’re trying to make money from vaccines, you know, not trying to save lives,' that’s a popular conspiracy theory."
Earlier this month, Gates made headlines for admitting that COVID is "kind of like flu." He also conceded that the vaccines are "imperfect in two very important ways."