LEWIS HAMILTON has shared an anti-vaxxer post that accuses Bill Gates of “lying” over a coronavirus jab, sparking a fierce backlash.
The Formula One driver, 35, twice put a video on his Instagram story on Monday morning but deleted the updates.
Internet celebrity Andrew Bachelor – known as King Bach – uploaded a 13-minute video of Bill Gates being interviewed over a vaccination for Covid-19.
Gates plays down the suggestions of the potential vaccine’s side effects in the interview with CBSN and rubbished claims of tracking chips being implanted through jabs.
Quizzed about the many conspiracy theories surrounding him and the work of his global health foundation, Gates said: “No, there’s no connection between any of these vaccines and any tracking type thing at all, I don’t know where that came from.
“Dr Fauci and I are the two most mentioned, and some of these are deeply ironic. Like, our foundation is about reducing death and bringing equity to health.
“And yet the idea that we get accused of creating chips or the virus, I think we just need to get the truth out there.
“We need to explain our values so that people understand why we’re involved in this work and why we’re willing to put billions towards accelerating the progress. It’s a little unclear to me, but I hope it will die down as people get the facts.”
But King Bach captioned the clip: “I remember when I told my first lie.”
Hamilton, who has earned plenty of respect for his Black Lives Matter and climate change campaigning, decided to share the post to his 18.3million Instagram followers.
But the six-time F1 world champion came in for a major backlash for allegedly promoting an anti-vaxxer stance.
One wrote on Twitter: “The fact that Lewis Hamilton is actively supporting anti-vax conspiracy theories proves the point that I’ve been making for years.
“He isn’t humble and he is isn’t a good guy. He is a fraud.”
A user said: “All your fantastic work with BLM is thrown right out the window with your one single Instagram post.
You’re surrounded by incredibly smart people daily. You cannot honestly hold an opinion so dumb and unfounded in science. Explain yourself.”
Another added: “Can I ask why @LewisHamilton is sharing anti-vax posts on his instagram story?
“In a pandemic, is this really the time to be giving a platform to this?
“Come on man, your team are at the peak of science and engineering, you can do better than share this anti-science b******s.”
A third said: “I am a huge fan. I can forgive you for the Vegan nonsense. But being Anti-vax is just foolishness.
“You got too much money to be this dumb. Educate yourself.”
However, after reading the furious responses, Hamilton took to Instagram again to set the record straight and show his support for both Gates and the development of a vaccine.
He wrote: “Hi guys. I’ve noticed some comments on my earlier post around the coronavirus vaccine, and want to clarify my thoughts on it, as I understand why they might have been misinterpreted.
“Firstly, I hadn’t actually seen the comment attached so that is totally my fault and I have a lot of respect for the charity work Bill Gates does.
“I also want to be clear that I’m not against a vaccine and no doubt it will be important in the fight against coronavirus, and I’m hopeful for its development to save lives.
“However after watching the video, I felt it showed that there is still a lot of uncertainty about the side effects most importantly and how it is going to be funded.
“I may not always get my posting right, I’m only human but I’m learning as we go. Sending you positivity.”
Fellow sporting hero Novak Djokovic has also come under fire for his stance on vaccinations.
World No1 tennis star Djokovic even threatened to pull out of events once the ATP Tour gets back underway due to his strong opinions on vaccines.
Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson blasted anti-vaxxers as “nuts” and urged everyone to get the flu vaccine this summer.
The PM lashed out at those who don’t get their jabs as the Government launched a huge new drive to try and protect the NHS this winter ahead of a possible second coronavirus wave.
The popularity of groups and websites opposing vaccinations is a real concern, with a surge in interest during the last few months in line with the global pandemic.
Should anti-vaxxers continue to press forward with pushing their message, this could lead to the fight against coronavirus being derailed.
In order for a jab to be effective – once it is ready – it would need to be taken by a large proportion of people in order to increase the immunity.
So mass refusal to cooperate and be vaccinated may lead to coronavirus remaining present and, therefore, spreading.
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