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Fact check: RFID microchips will not be injected with the COVID-19 vaccine, altered video features Bill and Melinda Gates and Jack Ma

A video shared over 27,100 times on Facebook implies that the COVID-19 vaccine will contain a tracking microchip that will be injected in the individuals that receive the COVID-19 vaccine once it is ready. This is false.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

The 3:49-minute video visible  here  (archived version  archive.vn/CNhct ) is a compilation of out of context or manipulated footage, that includes news reports and commentary from Bill and Melinda Gates and Jack Ma that have been selectively combined.  

Some comments on the video include “Say no to being tracked with a chip”, “I will cut off my arm before I let them microchip me or my kids” and “Scary! I don’t want anyone’s microchip implanted in my body!!”

APIJECT

Around timestamp 00:24, the video includes fragments of a CBN interview  here  with Jay Walker, executive chairman of pre-filled syringe maker Apiject, which got a $590 million U.S. loan to produce injectors for the eventual COVID-19 vaccine on Nov. 19 ( here ). 

In this interview from May 2020 ( youtu.be/WllUZVwQBZ8?t=209 ) Walker is asked about how the “optional RFID chip” would work, in reference to the Radio Frequency Identification chip that could be part of the syringe’s label, not the injectable substance itself (as explained in detail  here  on page 13). 

In his full response, Walker compares the technology to a “bar code” and assures that it doesn’t carry any personal information. He also explains that the microchip “is purely optional, however, and the U.S. government hasn’t even decided if they’re going to use it.”

Steve Hofman, a spokesman of Apiject confirmed to Reuters via phone that this “optional” microchip will not be injected into the individual who receives the vaccine.

Hofman reassured that this technology is optional and that so far it hasn’t been requested. He also added that the microchip “cannot gather any personal information”.

The microchip, he explained, is designed for two purposes: “to allow the healthcare provider to confirm that the actual injectable and the vaccine in it has not expired and that it is not counterfeit.” It would also confirm that “that particular injection has been used”. The health provider, Hofman added, would use a cellphone app to capture and revise this information.

Around the timestamp 2:10, the video in this claim itself includes footage from a fact-check by Verify  here  in which they debunk this false allegation.  

BILL GATES

The video starts with a commentary from Bill Gates that has been edited to misleadingly combine two parts of his speech during a 2013 financial inclusion forum  here . The video on social media makes it look like Gates said that “innovations like vaccines, we need a measuring system that tracks the vaccine.” This has been clearly edited.  

The original segments are visible  youtu.be/6xkwAL3jwJs   and  youtu.be/6xkwAL3jwJs?t=173 .  

The full footage shows that Gates referred to vaccines as an example of breakthrough innovations that “have changed the future for billions of people” (he also lists “holding crops” as another example for this). Later, Gates refers to a “measurement system”, but he is talking about the need for a system to track the progress of financial inclusion, not vaccines.

Reuters previously debunked the claim that Bill Gates planned to launch microchip skin implants to fight the coronavirus ( here ) and that a microchip implant would come with COVID-19 vaccines ( here ).  Other fact checks on false claims regarding Gates and COVID-19 are visible  here  and  here  . 

MELINDA GATES AND JACK MA

Around timestamp 1:32, the video includes footage from the launch of a United Nations (UN) report on digital cooperation  youtu.be/UcB_aIq1OwA  in 2019, which was developed by a panel co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma, executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.  

The video includes authentic commentary of Melinda Gates and Jack Ma, executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, who co-chaired the panel that developed the report in question  here . However, when paired up within news reports of microchips, these comments may look misleading.  

For example, the video shows that Melinda Gates says that technology gives incredible opportunities to “create the world that we want.” Some users commenting on the video appear to have misrepresented this as a reference to a surveilled world. A comment in the video reads: “The world “they want” not the one we want as free citizens living in a democracy! Are they going to implant themselves?????”

The full footage of her response visible  youtu.be/UcB_aIq1OwA?t=205   shows that by “the world we want,” Gates was referring to a “more just and humane world.”  

Jack Ma’s commentary ( youtu.be/UcB_aIq1OwA?t=250 ) on the “digital era” also does not appear to be in reference to vaccines, but rather about how technological advances will shape the future. Ma later says: “Nobody is the expert of future we should learn, we should embrace it and we should change our mentality, you know, to embrace this revolution.”  

OTHER FOOTAGE

The video also misleadingly includes other clips from old news reports about the microchip technology in humans, that are unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Around timestamp 3:00 it includes footage from an authentic PBS NewsHour, the comment by anchor Judy Woodruff however has been edited and is therefore missing context.

In the edited Facebook video, Woodruff’s words have been selectively cropped to make it look like she said that people who support the implantation of microchips do it to “take back control.” The original footage  here  shows that Woodruff was actually referring to “take back control of their personal data.”  

Another segment featured around timestamp 3:13 from the PBS NewsHour is visible  youtu.be/hLc_7CnWkxw?t=543   

The video also features images from this report  here  from 2007, around timestamp 1:06 and 2:31. The report weighed into the possibility of implanting children with microchips for security purposes and addressed the concerns from parents about using this technology. The audio paired up with these images around 1:06, however, appears to be from a different video. Reuters was unable to identify the source of this audio.  

The footage featured around 3:20 is visible here . This piece from 2017 also reported on the debate around how microchips might bring benefits on daily tasks and weighs into the privacy concerns around this issue. The particular segment that is included in the video   youtu.be/0Ixr4SzoVJA?t=97  , mentions the Seattle-based company Dangerous Things ( dangerousthings.com/  ) which sells a variety of chip implants.  

VERDICT

Altered. COVID-19 vaccine syringes could contain RFID microchips on labels, but they wouldn’t be ‘injected’ into the individual that receives the vaccine. A video containing this claim features altered and out of context footage.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  . 

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