Lewis Hamilton insists he has been 'misinterpreted' after he sparked backlash by sharing anti-vaxxer post accusing Bill Gates of lying about Covid-19 trials

  • Lewis Hamilton shared an anti-vaxxer video on Instagram on Monday morning 
  • The F1 star has been criticised over his stance on vaccination as a response 
  • The video in question saw billionaire Bill Gates provide an update on a vaccine for Covid-19 and the caption with it read: 'I remember when I told my first lie'
  • Hamilton has since deleted the video from his Instagram Stories page 
Lewis Hamilton insisted today he was 'misinterpreted' after he sparked backlash for  sharing an anti-vaxxer video with his 18.3million Instagram followers which accused Bill Gates of lying about Covid-19 vaccine trials.  
The six-time Formula One champion, 35, shared a video by content creator King Bach on his Instagram story twice, which shows tech billionaire Bill Gates being interviewed about the progress being made to develop a vaccine to fight Covid-19.  
The caption on the video, which was not written by Hamilton, reads: 'I remember when I told my first lie.'
In the footage, Gates can be heard playing down concerns of potential side-effects of a vaccine and rubbishes the baseless conspiracy theory that he plans to embed tracking chips into it once developed.  
Hamilton has since issued an Instagram statement saying he had not seen the caption on the video and that the post had been misinterpreted after social media users criticised him for spreading 'antivax nonsense' and 'misinformation'.  
An anti-vaxxer video was shared by Lewis Hamilton to his 18million followers on Instagram
The F1 star has been met with criticism for sharing the anti-vaxxer post
Lewis Hamilton (right) has faced fierce criticism after he shared an anti-vaxxer video to his Instagram story (left) which came with the caption: 'I remember when I told my first lie'
Fans of Hamilton spoke out against the 'irresponsible nonsense' he re-posted on to his page
Fans of Hamilton spoke out against the 'irresponsible nonsense' he re-posted on to his page
He wrote on social media: 'I've noticed some comments on my earlier post about 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 am 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.'  Gates, the Microsoft founder, now directs much of his time and energy to his global health foundation and backs South Korean company SK Bioscience. 
He gave $3.6million (£2.8m) to the company in May for the purpose of accelerating the development of a vaccine to combat Covid-19. 
And in a letter to South Korean president Moon Jae-in, as reported by Fortune, Gates stated he was convinced the company could produce as many as 200m vaccine kits by June 2021. 
Vaccination is the latest controversy Hamilton has involved himself with after he recently branded Bernie Ecclestone 'ignorant and uneducated' after the ex-Formula 1 boss made comments about racism. 
Ecclestone, 89, told CNN that 'in lots of cases, black people are more racist than what white people are'. 
World champion Hamilton said Ecclestone's remarks were 'sad and disappointing'.    
Hamilton attended a Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park last month after global uproar following the death of George Floyd and has taken the knee at sporting events including the recent Hungarian Grand Prix. 
Hamilton's fans have slammed his re-posting of the video which suggests Gates was lying
Hamilton's fans have slammed his re-posting of the video which suggests Gates was lying
Gates used his appearance on US TV to rubbish the baseless suggestions that he wants to embed tracking chips into a coronavirus vaccine
Gates used his appearance on US TV to rubbish the baseless suggestions that he wants to embed tracking chips into a coronavirus vaccine
Following the recent controversy over race, Hamilton's decision to share the anti-vaxxer post today, which suggested Gates was lying in an interview on US television, has been met with condemnation.

Bill Gates conspiracy theories: From implanting microchips to planning to kill 15% of the planet's population 

Conspiracy theories that Bill Gates is plotting to use a Covid-19 vaccine to implant microchips in people have been circulating during the coronavirus pandemic. 
Some claim, falsely, that Gates is using the Covid-19 pandemic as a way to push a vaccine which includes these microchips which are capable of tracking people, and thus the world's population.
Other conspiracy theorists even go as far to say that he plans to eradicate 15 per cent of the world's population with the hypothetical vaccine.
The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has never proposed or funded any research into the development of a vaccine - for Covid-19 or otherwise - that includes the injection of a tracking or monitoring device.
While the charitable foundation did fund a pilot study, conducted by MIT and Rice University, into a potential vaccine delivery device that could 'impart an invisible mark detectable by a smartphone', it was entirely theoretical and would not have been capable of tracking or monitoring. 
The conspiracy theory, which has gained significant traction online, cites this study in combination with another concept Gates is actively researching called a 'digital identity', which could involve cloud-based storage of a person's medical records and personal identification documents - accessible only with the consent of the owner. 
One online group also claims that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has tested vaccines on children in Africa and India, leading to thousands of deaths and irreversible injuries. One post even suggested he is facing trial in India. 
He is accused of rolling out a tetanus vaccine in Kenya that includes abortion drugs. 
In addition, a video accusing Gates of wanting to microchip people has been viewed nearly two million times on YouTube. 
One Hamilton fan wrote on Twitter: 'Oh @LewisHamilton Please don't spread antivax nonsense. I've been a huge fan for years through thick and thin, but spreading antivax nonsense is outrageously irresponsible.'
Others questioned his lack of questioning of the material, with one writing: 'Disappointed in @LewisHamilton posting Antivaxx nonsense in his IG stories without thought or challenge. Do better.'
In the video, when asked about conspiracy theories that he was responsible for creating the virus, or implanting microchips within a potential vaccine, Gates, with a wry smile, says he has no idea where that baseless suggestion came from.
'No, there is no connection between any of these vaccines and any tracking type thing,' he said. 'I have no idea where this came from.'
He continues: 'Dr Fauci (America's top infectious disease official) and I are the two most mentioned. Some of these are deeply ironic. Our foundation is about reducing death and bringing equity to health.
'The idea that we get accused of creating chips, or the virus - I think we need to get the truth out there, and explain our values, and why we are willing to put billions towards accelerating the progress.
'It's a little unclear to me, but I hope this will die down as people get the facts.'
Hamilton is due back in the UK this week as he prepares for Formula One's British Grand Prix at Silverstone. He has used his platform as the sport's biggest name to urge fans to stay away from the track as the race takes place behind closed doors. 
'It's not my job to come up with rules and tell people what to do,' Hamilton told Autosport. 'What I see on TV is people out trying to live their lives during this difficult time, but this thing continues to spread. So, I always just try to encourage people to keep their distance and remain at home.'  
Last week, 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.
Fellow sports star tennis player Novak Djokovic has also come under fire for his stance on vaccinations.  
Djokovic, 32, said: 'Personally I am opposed to vaccination and I wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel.
'But if it becomes compulsory, what will happen? I will have to make a decision.
'I have my own thoughts about the matter and whether those thoughts will change at some point, I don't know.'

How close are we to finding a vaccine for coronavirus and why do we need one?

Why is a coronavirus vaccine important?
This new virus is spreading fast and the majority of the world's population are still vulnerable to getting it and potentially becoming seriously ill. 
A vaccine would give people a certain level of protection as our immune system would learn to fight the virus. 
This in turn would mean more lockdowns could be lifted, social distancing could be relaxed and we could all return to a more normal life.  
What sort of progress is being made?
Research is being fast-tracked across the globe and there are currently 140 vaccines in early development. Several are being tested on humans in clinical trials.  
Much hope has been put on one trial at Oxford University. Research there shows the vaccine can trigger an immune response.
A deal has been signed with AstraZeneca to supply 100 million doses in the UK alone. 
Scientists in China have also started developing a vaccine they say is safe and led to protective antibodies being made.  
The world's biggest COVID-19 vaccine study got underway today with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers helping to test shots created by the U.S. government - one of several candidates in the final stretch of the global vaccine race.  
'We're optimistic, cautiously optimistic' that the vaccine will work and that 'toward the end of the year' there will be data to prove it, Dr. Stephen Hoge, president of Massachusetts-based Moderna, told a House subcommittee last week. 
When will we have a coronavirus vaccine? 
It normally takes years to create a new vaccine from scratch, but scientists are setting speed records this time around, spurred by knowledge that vaccination is the world's best hope against the pandemic. 
The coronavirus wasn't even known to exist before late December, and vaccine makers sprang into action on January 10 when China shared the virus' genetic sequence.  
Most experts think a vaccine is likely to become widely available by mid-2021.    

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