Half Of All Fox Viewers Think Bill Gates Wants To Use COVID-19 Vaccine To Implant Microchips In Them
According to a recent poll conducted by Yahoo News and YouGov, way the hell too many Americans believe in the conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 vaccine will be merely a ruse to allow Bill Gates to insert microchips into everyone, for the purpose of tracking them. Why? Well, either because he's paving the way for the anti-Christ or because he's just super lonely and wants to know where everyone is hanging out. Who knows? The conspiracy theorists rarely get beyond the "tracking everyone" part of the explanation.
How much is way the hell too many? 28 percent of all US adults, including 50 percent of those who say Fox is their main source of news and 44 percent of all Trump supporters.
While only 12 percent of those who say they voted for Hillary Clinton in the last election said they believed this, only 63 percent were 100 percent sure this was not a thing. Was this the largest percentage of any group polled? Yes. But you know what? That is still not very good! We should be doing way better than that, considering what an incredibly stupid idea this is. Like, 25 percent of those people were like "Huh, I don't know, maybe?" and that is not okay. We should be doing better.
Frankly, the Jesus people who think Gates wants to implant people with a microchip for anti-Christ-related reasons are actually the most logical of this bunch. That, at least, makes some amount of narrative sense. There's an endgamme. Bill Gates wants to bring about the anti-Christ, so he's gotta get the Mark of the Beast onto everyone in some way, and his big idea is this vaccine. But what on earth do people who don't believe that think is going on? Like, why would he want that? To track people? To what end? And in what way that could not just be done with their phones?
Because of social distancing, Starbucks asking everyone to order and pay with the Starbucks app (which is a bit of a scam, by the way, because they make you load it like a bus card instead of letting you just pay with a card attached to it). That shit is "tracking" you. Or at least your caffeine habit. They don't need to implant a microchip in your brain in order to make that happen.
The irony here is that there is actually someone out there who wants to implant microchips into people's brains ... it's just not Bill Gates. It's Elon Musk, who has in fact set up a company called Neuralink that is supposed to create brain-to-computer interfaces and fix brain issues that way. Or something. But Trumpists can't really start incorporating Elon Musk into their weird conspiracy theory fantasies because in their minds, he's one of the good guys because Trump likes him.
This is not the only obviously wrong thing the poll found that Trumpists believe, though that should hardly shock you. 49 percent of them think hydroxychloroquinine is effective against COVID-19. 58 percent of them think that COVID-19 was grown in a Chinese lab and "accidentally escaped." Yeah.
In fairness, this was not a particularly large poll and it is entirely possible that there is an an unusually high proportion of weirdo conspiracy theorists on YouGov's "opt-in panel."
The Yahoo News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,640 U.S. adult residents interviewed online between May 20 and 21, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race and education, as well as 2016 presidential vote, registration status and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov's opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S residents. The margin of error is approximately 3.0 percent.
That being said, while we can hope that these numbers are not actually that high, they're still probably a lot higher than they should be. Frankly, anything over 1 percent ought to worry us.
The most unfortunate finding of the poll was that 50 percent of all respondents said that they would not take a vaccine if it were developed. That's bad! And it means that there are a decent amount of people on our own side who are also being weird anti-vaxxers about this. So we owe it to ourselves and those who are gonna need to rely on herd immunity to make sure our friends and loved ones are well-informed on this stuff.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse