Bill Gates revealed Tuesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, more than two years into a pandemic that the Microsoft co-founder has dedicated himself to better understanding and fighting.
Gates tweeted that he is experiencing mild symptoms and that he is “following the experts’ advice by isolating until I’m healthy again.” He added in a tweet thread that he is “fortunate to be vaccinated and boosted and have access to testing and great medical care.”
Gates, 66, first warned about the possibility of a COVID-type outbreak years ago, and he spent much of 2020 speaking to anyone who would listen about the precautions people needed to take to stem the spread of the disease.
The billionaire philanthropist has been a leading advocate for a globally coordinated response to the pandemic since the early days of the crisis. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for COVID-19 initiatives, including vaccine development and distribution.
As development of vaccines proceeded at an unprecedented pace, disinformation around the treatments and Gates’ involvement also spread, fueled by social media conspiracy theorists seizing on heightened political polarization in the United States. Melinda French Gates told The New York Times that the fact that she and her husband have been targeted pointed to fear and people who were looking to point to somebody or some thing or some institution.
Among the outlandish theories spread online, some said Gates had a hand in developing vaccines with a microchip that would be implanted into anyone who was injected.
On Jan. 22, 2021, he received his first dose of vaccine against COVID, saying at the time, “I feel great,” as he tweeted a photo of himself getting the shot.
On Monday, he helped cut the ribbon at a new Seattle-area manufacturing facility for vaccines built by Inventprise, a biotech company supported with funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.