Six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has issued a statement on Instagram to “clarify his thoughts” after sharing a post that appeared to accuse Microsoft founder Bill Gates of lying about a coronavirus vaccine.
Hamilton reposted a video of an interview with Gates on the subject of vaccine trials that had originally been shared by Andrew Bachelor, known as King Bach, with the caption “I remember when I told my first lie”.
The video, along with Bachelor’s caption, remained live on Hamilton’s feed for 13 hours before he removed it and replaced it with a statement in which he said he had not seen the caption attached to the video.
In the CBSN interview, Gates talked about the status of vaccine trials, addressing concerns about side effects and tackling unfounded rumours that vaccines could be used to microchip human beings.
“I’ve noticed some comments on my earlier post around the coronavirus vaccine, and wanted to clarify my thoughts on it, as I understand why they might have been misinterpreted,” Hamilton said.
“First, 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 help 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.”
In recent months, Hamilton has regularly used his Instagram profile to encourage his 18.3 million followers to abide by measures aimed at fighting the spread of COVID-19.