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Bill Gates said Friday on CNN that it is “tragic” if conspiracy theories about him are keeping people from getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Addressing theories surrounding his involvement in vaccine production, Gates said, “The one about tracking people, I don’t know why they think I’m interested in knowing people’s locations — that one I still have to laugh at — but if it’s holding people back from getting vaccinated, then that’s tragic.”

Gates also touched on a theory that his support of vaccine research is solely for the purpose of gaining profit.

“You know, we’ve given billions for vaccines and saved millions of lives. If you just kind of invert that and say no, we’re trying to make money from vaccines, you know, not trying to save lives, that’s a popular conspiracy theory,” he said.

Gates explained that conspiracy theories are more “fun to click on” online than accurate information and that “simple explanations” are more attractive to people than science that is not widely understood.

He said that many conspiracy theorists assume that “rather than this complex biology, maybe there’s just some bad person behind this.”

Gates also addressed vaccine hesitancy and ways to increase vaccination rates across the U.S.

“Well, the hesitancy did go down somewhat, you know, initially it was like at 60 percent of the population, but as they saw their friends getting vaccinated and very rare side effects, as they saw their friends being protected and the people with severe disease were overwhelmingly the unvaccinated, most people came around,” said Gates.

He added: “Now the U.S. still has a lower full vaccination rate than many other countries, so we still need to figure out: Who do those people trust? Are they open-minded? Because it’s to their benefit and to the people around them, so I’m surprised that the U.S., it’s been this tough, and, you know, even somewhat a political thing.”

Gates encouraged innovation and creativity in finding ways to incentivize unvaccinated Americans to get immunized against COVID-19.

“But, you know, we need to be creative at how we get people to see it, you know, and hear about people they know that suffered from not fully protecting themselves,” said Gates.

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