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- There’s no evidence to support the claim that Bill Gates is behind the monkeypox outbreak. Experts suspect it started to spread at raves in Europe.
With one confirmed and several presumptive cases of monkeypox in the United States, and dozens more cases in other countries where the virus isn’t normally found, conspiracy theories about the recent outbreak are spreading online.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, a frequent target of COVID-19 misinformation, has also come under scrutiny in connection with monkeypox.
But a recent Facebook claim that "everyone knows Bill Gates is behind the monkeypox outbreaks" is unfounded and wrong.
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The World Health Organization has said that the outbreak is under investigation.
However, Dr. David Heymann, a leading adviser to the organization who formerly headed its emergencies department, said that its spread in developed countries is "a random event" that appears to have been the result of intimate contact between people who attended two recent raves in Europe, the Associated Press reported on May 23. Human-to-human transmission of monkeypox happens through contact with skin lesions, bodily fluids, contaminated clothing and bedding, or close-range and prolonged exposure to respiratory droplets.
In the United States, the confirmed and probable cases involve people who have recently traveled outside of the country.
We found no evidence to support the claim that Gates is behind the outbreaks.
We rate that claim Pants on Fire.
Facebook post, May 21, 2022
ABCS News, 1 confirmed, 6 presumptive monkeypox cases in US, government releasing vaccines for exposed, May 23, 2022
World Health Organization, Monkeypox, May 19, 2021
Associated Press, Expert: Monkeypox likely spread by sex at 2 raves in Europe, May 23, 2022
BBC, Monkeypox virus outbreaks are containable - WHO, May 23, 2022
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