- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Roger Stone, President Trump’s convicted former campaign adviser, boosted a conspiracy theory Monday blaming Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Whether Bill Gates played some role in the creation and spread of this virus is open for vigorous debate,” Stone said during an interview with radio host Joe Piscopo.

“I have conservative friends who say it’s ridiculous, I have others who say it’s absolute,” Stone continued. “But here is what I do know for certain: He and other globalists are definitely using it for mandatory vaccinations and microchipping people so we can tell, quote unquote, whether you’ve been tested.”

Mr. Gates, one of the world’s wealthiest people, announced earlier this month that his philanthropic foundation will invest billions of dollars to fund factories where seven potential coronavirus vaccines will be developed.

“Because our foundation has such deep expertise in infectious diseases, we’ve thought about the epidemic, we did fund some things to be more prepared, like a vaccine effort,” Mr. Gates told Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” last week. “Our early money can accelerate things.”

“You know what I say, Joe? Over my dead body,” Stone reacted during the radio interview. “Mandatory vaccinations? No way, Jose!”

Stone, 67, has known Mr. Trump for decades and was an early adviser to the president’s 2016 election campaign.

He was later charged as a result of the government’s investigation into the 2016 race with seven counts of perjury, witness tampering and obstruction. He was ultimately found guilty of all counts and sentenced in February to three years in prison, but he has remained free while his attorneys challenge his conviction.

Nearly 2 million people around the world have contracted COVID-19, the infectious respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, since it was first discovered in late 2019, and more than 464,000 have recovered, according to data maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

More than 120,000 people have died from COVID-19, including over 23,000 within the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins. In the U.S., there were more than 528,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 44,000 have recovered from the illness.

The World Health Organization reported last month that all available evidence suggests COVID-19 originated from a non-human animal source and “is not a manipulated or constructed virus.”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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