April 29, 2020 / 2:33 PM / a month ago

False claim: Bill Gates refused to vaccinate his children

Update May 1, 2020

This article has been updated to include a response from NewsPunch.

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An article claiming that Bill Gates refused to vaccinate his own children has been circulating online through various websites. Examples ( here ) and ( here ).​

The article seems to originate from YourNewsWire (now called NewsPunch) in 2018, which has since been deleted. NewPunch.com’s editor confirmed to Reuters that the article was removed when YourNewsWire moved to Newspunch in 2018. “Our editorial standards have changed significantly from the time that article was published, and we no longer stand by the statements made in the article,” the publication said.

The article was written by a Baxter Dmitry, a possible pseudonym for an author who has been criticized for writing fake news articles (called out by Poynter here ). The website YourNewsWire has also been criticized for producing inaccurate content ( here ). Dmitry is still a frequent contributor to NewsPunch ( newspunch.com/author/baxter/ )​.

The article circulating online claims that Bill Gates’ personal doctor told a medical symposium in Seattle that the Microsoft founder refused to vaccinate his children. It quotes the doctor as saying: “I don’t know if he had them vaccinated as adults, but I can tell you he point blank refused to vaccinate them as children. They were gorgeous kids, really smart and vivacious, and he said they would be OK as it was, they didn’t need any shots.”​

The article does not provide further information relating to sources, such as the name of the doctor or the event. It says: “The comments caused a stir among physicians at the symposium with claims he was breaking doctor-patient confidentiality.” It is likely this would have been reported on by news outlets at the time, had it been true. Reuters could not find any other information or references relating to this claim from major news organizations. ​

Bill and Melinda Gates are known for their efforts in developing and distributing vaccination around the world through global health initiatives at their eponymous foundation ( here ).​

Melinda Gates confirmed in an April 2019 Facebook post that all three of her children have been fully vaccinated ( here ).

VERDICT

False. There is no evidence to show Bill Gates refused to vaccinate his own children. The article was written by an author known for publishing fake news and the original story has been deleted. ​

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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