The May 10 edition of Louder with Crowder, which streams on YouTube, featured a pair of false claims regarding billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates’ history with vaccines. While host Steven Crowder was absent from this episode, his co-hosts continued the show’s tradition of spreading misinformation.
Crowder’s show played a deceptively edited clip from a 2010 TED Talk Gates gave on the future of energy and climate. The co-hosts used it as evidence to claim that Gates is seeking to eliminate 10-15% of the world’s population, “almost a billion people,” with vaccines.
In the TED Talk, Gates was discussing reducing global carbon emissions and at one point mentioned reducing the rate of future population growth. Concerns about carbon emissions and population grown do not entail the murder of millions of people, and Gates’ comment when taken in context shows that he was clearly not making that case. While the substance of Gates’ comments may otherwise be debatable, Crowder’s crew flagrantly edited the clip in a deceptive manner.
The hosts further used a 2012 article in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics to suggest that Gates is, at least partially, responsible for giving 47,500 Indians paralysis from the polio vaccine. Landau first derisively mocked the journal as the “Indian journal of lots of AIDS.” Then, though the hosts acknowledged that the proof is not definitive, they still suggested UNICEF’s polio vaccination effort in India to which Gates' foundation contributed funding may have caused this.
It is in no way established that that claim is true. There are many potential causes for the kind of paralysis documented in India. The World Health Organization determined that the oral polio vaccine is “extremely safe.” Though the agency says it is possible to contract polio from the vaccine, it is extremely rare and occurs in only 1 in 2.7 million oral doses.
Gates’ involvement in the COVID-19 vaccination efforts has made him a target for anti-vaccine conspiracy theories (and valid criticism as well). Both claims stated by Crowder’s co-hosts have been widespread in anti-vaccine circles over the past year.
In March, Crowder was briefly suspended from YouTube and one of his videos was removed for violating YouTube’s COVID-19 misinformation policy. This most recent episode demonstrates that Louder with Crowder is laundering misinformation and conspiracy theories related to vaccines during a global pandemic.