In October, 2019 Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who, together with his wife, runs the richest and most powerful foundation in the world, co-organised a simulation exercise on a worldwide corona epidemic. Videos were posted documenting the exercise. But intriguingly Gates now denies such an exercise ever took place.
Why? On April 12, 2020, Bill Gates said in an interview to the BBC, “Now here we are. We didn’t simulate this, we didn’t practice, so both the health policies and economic policies, we find ourselves in uncharted territory.”
This is the same person who, just six months before the outbreak of the pandemic, organised a series of four role-playing simulations of a corona pandemic with very high-ranking participants. Event 201 was a simulation of a corona pandemic conducted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum and Johns Hopkins University in October 2019.
Participants from the private and public sectors were presented with a scenario, not unlike the one that has unfolded in reality, and discussed what needed to be done. There are official videos of the four meetings and a best-of-video scenario presentation and discussion by the participants, who are members of a pandemic control council in the role play.
It is true that if a little less emphasis had been placed on opinion manipulation, more attention could have been paid to health and economic policy. One of the four meetings was entirely devoted to this. But health and economic policies did get discussed. Gates can hardly have forgotten that.
The video on control of public opinion is the most interesting one, as it helps to put in perspective the efforts in this regard, which we are currently experiencing. One participant tells us that Bill Gates is financing work on algorithms which comb through the information on social media platforms to make sure that people can trust the information that they find there.
And the Chinese participant, the head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control muses about ways to counter rumours that the virus is man-made. Remember, this exercise took place in October 2019, before the current pandemic broke out. (Norbert Haering is a German commentator who also writes in English)