On December 23, information about Bill Gates’s position on the vaccine with the identical title "Despite the vaccination, the pandemic will get worse – Bill Gates makes apocalyptic prognosis yet again” was published on the webpages of resonancedaily.com and ntv.ge.
Introductory content of the article itself repeats the claim voiced in the title and notes that Bill Gates wrote about it in his blog. Afterward, the article cites Bill Gates’s quote: "computer models foretell worsening of global problems in the first quarter of 2021. It’s necessary to learn more about a new variant of the virus that spreads faster than the one before. Wearing face masks and social-distancing remains to be the most effective way to counter the virus, albeit the fact that many people don't believe in the effectiveness of the vaccine is alarming”.
On December 23-24, alia.ge, info9.ge, Newsfront, media.adamsholding.ge and theworldnews.net published identical information with the same, slightly altered title: "Despite the vaccine, the pandemic will get worse – what does Bill Gates write about the virus?". The text of their articles are identical to the one of “Rezonansi” and ntv.ge.
Information with a slightly different title was published by the webpage ptn.ge: "Despite the roll-out of vaccination, the pandemic will get worse in the upcoming months – Bill Gates".
The majority of media outlets cite for.ge as the source of the information, while for.ge indicates imedinews.ge as the source of the published information. Commersant.ge also indicates imedinews.ge as the source. Articles of all three web pages have the identical title: "Bill Gates: despite the roll-out of the vaccination, the pandemic will still get worse in the upcoming months".
Metronome.ge is another webpage that published the aforesaid information. Metronome writes that Bill Gates mentioned this in his blog.
The title "Despite the vaccination, the pandemic will get worse" is manipulative. 1) In his blog, Gates doesn’t write that pandemic will get worse “despite the vaccination”. 2) 7 web-pages omitted the detail in the title that, according to Gates, says that the pandemic will get worse in the upcoming months.
3) In his blog, Gates emphasizes the fact that a combination of vaccination, treatment, and regulations will have a global impact and new cases and the death rate will gradually decrease, however, no media mentioned above writes about this. Thus, the blog overall is optimistic, and focusing only on one quote is misleading.
On December 22, Bill Gates published a "year in review" blog with the title "These breakthroughs will make 2021 better than 2020”. In a long blog, Gates discusses the outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic and scientific advances that have been achieved in the fight against the pandemic.
In the introduction, Bill Gates writes that he is stunned by the pace of scientific advances in 2020 because humans have never made more progress on any disease in a year than the world did on COVID-19 this year. He notes that under normal circumstances, creating a vaccine can take 10 years, but this time, multiple vaccines were created in less than one year.
7 media outlets - resonancedaily.com, ntv.ge, alia.ge, info9.ge, Newsfront, media.adamsholding.ge and theworldnews.net omitted an important detail in the title: the fact that based on computer models, Bill Gates suggests that pandemic could get worse in the upcoming months. Mentioned media outlets note that “pandemic will get worse” in the title, albeit don’t mention when and this might give off the impression that vaccines won’t work and we shouldn’t expect the situation to get better in 2021.
It’s worth mentioning that media outlets prepared articles based only on one quote from Bill Gates’s long blog. In this quote, Bill Gates says that computer models suggest that the pandemic could get worse in the upcoming months (until spring). The quote doesn’t mention that situation gets worse despite the roll-out of vaccination. Moreover, Bill Gates makes an optimistic prognosis in the blog and emphasizes the fact that the combination of vaccination, treatment, and regulations will have a global impact. Bill Gates notes that the number of cases and deaths will gradually decrease, at least in wealthy countries and the world will be much closer to normal life.
Quotes from Bill Gates
In regards to 2021, Bill Gates writes:
Unfortunately, we are not out of the woods quite yet. Computer models suggest that the pandemic could get even worse over the next month or so. We also need to learn more about a new variant of the virus that has appeared, which seems to spread faster but not to be more deadly.
According to him, there are two reasons to be hopeful: one is that masks, social distancing, and other interventions can slow the spread of the virus and save lives while vaccines are being rolled out. Gates names vaccination and treatment as the second reason:
“The other reason to be hopeful is that in the spring of 2021, the vaccines and treatments you’ve been reading about in the news will start reaching the scale where they’ll have a global impact. Although there will still need to be some restrictions (on big public gatherings, for example), the number of cases and deaths will start to go down a lot—at least in wealthy countries—and life will be much closer to normal than it is now.”
Besides the mentioned information, ptn.ge prepared another article based on the blog of Bill Gates, which is inserted at the end of this article and is about the decrease of death rate in wealthy countries. Publishing a second article on the webpage shows the optimistic part of the blog and helps readers comprehend the context. Other webpages haven't published such alternative articles.
Prepared by Mariam Talakhadze