Steven Crowder's crew spreads false claims about vaccines

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.

Video file

Citation From the May 10, 2021, edition of Louder with Crowder, streamed on YouTube

DAVE LANDAU (CO-HOST): But Gates' track record with vaccines is a little muddled. 

GERALD MORGAN JR (CO-HOST): Just a little.

LANDAU: The Indian Journal of Medicine --

MORGAN: That's not a punchline, Dave. 

LANDAU: I know. Let's go to the cleanest country on the map. The Indian Journal --

DARRIN CROWDER (GUEST): What could go wrong there?

LANDAU: -- Of lots of AIDS. There's a reason they come here to be doctors. 


The Indian Journal of Medical Ethics found that in 2012 there were 47,500 new cases of non-polio acute flaccid paralysis directly proportional to doses of oral polio vaccine administered. 


LANDAU: And the oral polio vaccine was partially funded by Bill Gates' foundation. Did you know that, Gerald A?


LANDAU: Why don't you read the last part? Thanks for the help. 

MORGAN: I will see what I can do here. Fact checkers have said there's no definitive proof the vaccine caused the paralysis. But even the WHO had to issue a statement about rare cases where NPAFP was caused by vaccines. Another part of the story here -- we didn't talk about today, but you can go back and read that article -- actually says that it's impossible to eradicate polio because it's been synthetically produced -- yeah thank you. We're having a little bit of an overlay here -- now that we know the genetic sequence, you can actually make it whenever you want. And so all of the benefits they said were worth spending the money are now gone. But they've known that for 10 years. Scientists have known it. In that article it says they've known for 10 years. So it seems like a bit of a sham. 

LANDAU: Well that's why they say that Gates said in 2010 during his TED Talk vaccines could help reduce the population by 10-15%. 


LANDAU: Hi, I'm going to murder many of you. 


MORGAN: You know, I'm slow at math but that's almost a billion people he thinks vaccines can help eliminate. [CROSS TALK] And I thought vaccines were supposed to be good for your health?

LANDAU: Well, I'll be honest. They're good for traffic because a lot of dead people [UNINTELLIGBLE] --

MORGAN: Clears off those roads, for sure. Well it makes it much easier to drive.