A new poll from Yahoo News and YouGov show that 44 percent of Trump-supporting Republicans think Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is using the coronavirus epidemic as a way to secretly implant microchips into billions of people so he can track their movements.
Additionally, 50 percent of Americans who primarily watch Fox News believe the conspiracy theory even though neither Fox nor Trump have ever repeated it.
The poll results are troubling because they suggest that even if a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, conservatives may reject it as a form of social control. In fact, the poll found that 56 percent of Trump voters say they’re either unsure about or likely to reject a COVID-19 vaccine, something that could cause the epidemic to continue killing people even after a preventative measure has been found.
This far-right conspiracy theory against Bill Gates has been pushed Rick Wiles on his TruNews platform and the pseudoscientific Natural News “alternative health” blog. It has also circulated on conservative social media groups as part of the right-wing’s growing hysteria against vaccinations and other government public health regulations.
While The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated millions towards COVID-19 research, Snopes points out the rumor started because in December 2019 the organization financed a pilot study to explore the possibility of an entirely hypothetical vaccine that would “impart an invisible mark” or a small infrared “quantum dot” tattoo allowing medical workers to use a smartphone or black light to determine who has been vaccinated and who hasn’t.
The rumor has also been propelled by Gates’s interest in “digital identity” technology which would give each person “a cloud-based storage of medical and/or personal-identification documents accessible only with the consent of the owner but available anywhere in the world.”
Gates has also publicly praised South Korea for its stringent contact tracing methods, using Bluetooth phone technology and public surveillance camera footage to help slow the spread of COVID-19. But neither Gates nor his foundation have ever discussed inserting microchips into people to track them.
Regardless, medical misinformation now seems to be a defining characteristic among a majority of Republicans. The poll also found 53 percent of Fox News viewers, 49 percent of Trump voters, and 44 percent of all Republicans think the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment against COVID-19 even though multiple studies have shown that to be untrue — in fact, it can even trigger fatal heart arrhythmia in patients.
Additionally, 65 percent of Fox News viewers, 58 percent of Trump voters, and 57 percent of Republicans believe “Chinese scientists engineered coronavirus in a lab, from which it accidentally escaped,” a conspiracy theory that has been denied by federal intelligence agencies.
Roughly 73 percent of Fox News viewers, 68 percent of Trump voters, and 63 percent of Republicans, say they’re more worried about COVID-19’s effect on the economy than its effect on people’s health. The same percentages also think the economy should reopen “as soon as possible to prevent further economic damage.”
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QAnon Congresswoman Talks with White Supremacist to Praise Her & Jan. 6 Coup Attempt
Georgia Republican House Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a woman who thinks a “Jewish space laser” stared this summer’s wildfires on the West Coast and that all school shootings are fake, recently sat for an interview with Katie Hopkins, a far-right, Islamophobic white supremacist who has compared migrants to “cockroaches” and “feral humans” (the former of which was used by Nazis and perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide) and also supported the “Defend Europe” campaign which has proclaimed the continent as a white one.
In the interview, which reportedly took place on January 7, the day after Trump’s supporters held an attempted coup on the U.S. Capitol to overturn the results of the November 2020 national elections, had Hopkins telling Greene, “On behalf of so many of us who look to this place for hope and look to Trump for hope, you are that. And what you did was so brave and made a difference to so many people and so I personally wanted to say thank you for being that person.”
In response, Greene says, “Thank you, thank you Katie. Thank you so much. That’s so nice,” Greene says in response. “Yeah, it was a hard thing we did yesterday, but I wouldn’t do anything else. I wouldn’t do anything else. I would love to trade you for some of our right people here who have no appreciation for our country. And I’m grateful, truly grateful.”
While it’s unclear what exactly Greene is referring to when she said “it was a hard thing we did yesterday,” it could either mean voting against certifying President Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 elections or it could mean the attempted coup on the U.S. Capitol.
This video has been shared a lot but it needs to be noted she is being interviewed by Katie Hopkins, a notorious bigot and hatemonger who is loved by white supremacists. Trump praised and supported both women many times. This is the Republican Party. This is it. https://t.co/2YoyHGCjFX
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) January 30, 2021
Not sure why folks like @WajahatAli and many others have to keep saying this for everyone to understand. These are not the exceptions, they are the rule for the Republicans. When you take out Never Trumpers you are left with a party captive to white nationalists and bigots. https://t.co/kZAOKAhYBz
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) January 30, 2021
Greene is currently facing calls to resign because of her embrace of far-right conspiracy theories, including the repeatedly debunked theory that an unprecedented national conspiracy of widespread voter fraud somehow “stole” the election from former President Donald Trump.
She also believes that the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center were an inside job, has advocated for the murder of former President Barack Obama and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and thinks that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once sliced off a child’s face and wore it before drinking the child’s blood.
Republicans recently placed Greene on the House Committee on Education and Labor. They have remained silent about Greene’s past social media behavior and her recent interview with a white supremacist.
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy Says “Everyone” Is to Blame for Capitol Riots
While Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California has previously said that he thinks former President Donald Trump bears some responsibility for the January 6 coup attempt in which his supporters ransacked the Capitol to overturn the election that he and Republicans baselessly claimed was stolen, McCarthy added in a Thursday interview, “I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility [for the coup attempt.]”
McCarthy then said that anti-Trump Democrats, rude social media users, unprepared law enforcement authorities were all responsible too, even though Trump literally told his followers on the morning of January 6 to march to the Capitol and fight to stop legislators from approving the election victory of now-President Joe Biden.
“I think this is what we have to get to the bottom of, and when you start talking about who has responsibilities,” McCarthy said. “I think there’s going to be a lot more questions, a lot more answers we have to have in the coming future.”
It’s especially telling that his Senate counterpart, now-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has directly blamed Trump for the riots.
“The mob was fed lies,” McConnell said Wednesday. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”
After months of making baseless claims that a national conspiracy of widespread voter fraud stole the election from him, a claim laughed out of courts 60 times over for lack of evidence by judges that Trump himself appointed, Trump held a “Stop the Steal” rally on the morning of January 6 in which he said, that he won the election “by a landslide” and encouraged his followers to “stop the steal” by going to the Capitol. If people don’t “fight like hell,” Trump said, “you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
GOP Rep Andy Harris Tried to Bring a Concealed Gun Into the Capitol House Chamber
Republican Representative Andy Harris of Maryland was recently prevented from entering the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol after a metal detector indicated that he had a concealed gun on him while trying to enter, something that is forbidden by security rules.
A spokesperson for Harris said, “As a matter of public record, he has a Maryland handgun permit and the congressman always complies with the house metal detectors and wanding. The congressman has never carried a firearm on the House floor.”
However, it’s remarkable that Harris tried it at all, as Democratic legislators say that they have felt increasingly unsafe around their Republican colleagues in the day following the Republican-led January 6 coup attempt in which insurrectionists stormed the Capitol in hopes of killing those who refused to give former President Donald Trump an undeserved second term.
About 139 House Republicans and 8 Senate Republicans voted on January 6 against certifying Biden’s Electoral College victory. While some have admitted off-the-record that they only voted that way in fear of being targeted for violence by Trump’s supporters, one Republican in particular, Congresswoman and QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, has previously suggested that she herself would personally gun down the progressive female House members of color known as “the Squad.”
The House had metal detectors installed following the January 6 coup attempt, but Republicans began walking past them and ignoring guards stationed at them. In response, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said any politicians who do such things will be fined $5,000 or more.
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