The billionaire said the outrage towards his vaccine efforts is “a little weird”

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates commented on anti-vaccine activists and conspiracy theories during a recent speech in Canada, insisting their efforts have “saved tens of millions of lives” as protesters gathered outside the event to denounce him.

After giving a talk on stopping the next health crisis at the TED2022 conference in Vancouver on Tuesday, Gates addressed critics demonstrating at the venue, saying the protest was “somewhat ironic”

“The Gates Foundation is very involved in vaccines, the invention of new vaccines, the funding of vaccines,” he said, arguing that his organization had “saved tens of millions of lives.”

“So it’s kind of ironic that someone turns around and says we’re using vaccines to kill people or to make money or we started the [Covid-19] pandemic,” Gates continued.

A TED conference webpage noted that Gates would discuss “What has it been like to become the subject of conspiracy theories?” as the billionaire is at the center of a series of novel claims related to vaccines and the coronavirus outbreak.

When asked how he felt about those protesting against him, Gates said it’s “something weird,” later asking “Does this turn into something where crazy people constantly show up?”

“Hopefully as the pandemic calms down, people will be more rational about, ‘Hey, vaccines are a miracle and there’s so much more we can do.'” he added.

Several activist groups distributed flyers for a “super protest” ahead of the TED event, which also featured high-profile speakers like Elon Musk and former Vice President Al Gore. Video footage purporting to show the rally showed a sizable crowd raising flags and banners outside the venue, and protesters could be heard chanting. “¡Arresten a Bill Gates!”

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