The computer magnate believes that vaccines can be used to reduce childhood mortality and ultimately reduce population growth through associated social changes, not as an agent of death.
On 21 January 2016, dubious news and conspiracy theory site YourNewsWire.com published a story with the headline “Bill Gates Admits ‘Vaccines Are Best Way To Depopulate’”. The article opens with a damning claim:
Bill Gates has openly admitted that vaccinations are designed so that governments can depopulate the world.
To support this claim, the site presented a February 2011 clip of Bill Gates being interviewed by CNN’s Sanjay Gupta about his foundation’s vaccination efforts:
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Ten billion dollars over the next 10 years to make it “the year of the vaccines.” What does that mean exactly?
Bill Gates: Over this decade, we believe unbelievable progress can be made, in both inventing new vaccines and making sure they get out to all the children who need them. […] we only need about six or seven more — and then you would have all the tools to reduce childhood death, reduce population growth, and everything — the stability, the environment — benefits from that.
In other words, Gates is not interested in using vaccines to reduce the population by using them as an agent of death or a tool to sterilize unsuspecting masses. Rather, Gates is interested in keeping more children alive in order to reduce the need for parents to have more children, thus limiting the overall population growth rate.
As evidenced in a 2014 paper in Science that attempted to calculate future population growth, not everyone is convinced childhood mortality is the smoking gun to quell population growth:
Among the most robust empirical findings in the literature on fertility transitions are that higher contraceptive use and higher female education are associated with faster fertility decline. These suggest that the projected rapid population growth could be moderated by greater investments in family planning programs to satisfy the unmet need for contraception and in girls’ education.
But Gates’ view on childhood mortality contribution to population growth is increasingly discussed in the scientific literature and is still subject to debate. What is not up to debate are the intentions of the Bill and Melinda Gate’s Foundation with regard to vaccines and population growth, as articulated by Bill and Melinda Gates in their Foundation’s 2017 Annual Letter:
Melinda: Saving children’s lives is the goal that launched our global work. It’s an end in itself. But then we learned it has all these other benefits as well. If parents believe their children will survive—and if they have the power to time and space their pregnancies—they choose to have fewer children.
Bill: When a mother can choose how many children to have, her children are healthier, they’re better nourished, their mental capacities are higher—and parents have more time and money to spend on each child’s health and schooling. That’s how families and countries get out of poverty. This link between saving lives, a lower birthrate, and ending poverty was the most important early lesson Melinda and I learned about global health.
This is obviously a far cry from, as YourNewsWire.com puts it, having Bill Gates tell us “how we must all consent to a ‘kill the humans’ strategy, to ‘save the planet’ from the carbon dioxide we make.”