Steve June 29, 2020
bill-gates-doesn’t-own-the-vaccine-for-or-patent-of-the-covid-19-virus

A Facebook post with over 16,000 shares claims the following:

“Isn’t it Amazing that Bill Gates Owns The Patent For Coronavirus and Owns The Vaccine. He is also A Partner n [sic] the Lab In Wuhan China”

None of this is correct.

Bill Gates doesn’t own the patent for coronavirus

There is no patent for the new coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19. 

As we’ve written before, a patent exists for a different coronavirus, called avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), which exists in birds. This patent is not owned by Bill Gates nor by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but by the Pirbright Institute in the UK, which aimed to develop a vaccine against IBV.

This misinformation seems to have spread as the foundation has funded some of the Pirbright Institute’s work, although not for this patented work.

A Covid-19 vaccine doesn’t exist yet

There is not yet an effective Covid-19 vaccine, although trials of potential vaccines are ongoing. So neither Bill Gates nor the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation own the patent for a Covid-19 vaccine.

The foundation has funded a number of organisations in their work on creating a Covid-19 vaccine.

What about the Wuhan lab?

It’s unclear what exactly the post means when it claims Bill Gates is “a partner” in “the Lab in Wuhan China”.

It could refer to the fact that there have been claims that the new coronavirus may have originated in bats kept in a Chinese government laboratory in Wuhan, the Wuhan Centre for Disease  Control and Prevention. But the scientists who claimed this did so in a paper that had not been peer reviewed. They proposed it as a possibility, but did not provide any evidence that this was the case.

As we have discussed before, there’s no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 originated in a lab in Wuhan, the city in China where the new disease was first detected. 

The Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention is part of China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, which has received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but Bill Gates can hardly be called a “partner” in the laboratory.

Also the vast majority of scientists agree that the virus was not man-made.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here.

For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false
because there is no evidence for any of the claims.

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