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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke May 4, 2020

This photo of the Gates Foundation has been altered

If Your Time is short

  • This photo has been altered to make it look like the words “Center for Global Human Population” appear on the Gates Foundation’s building.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has emerged as a prominent voice in public discussions about how to combat the coronavirus. In 2015, he was already warning Americans that the country was unprepared for an inevitable infectious virus. 

More recently, he’s become a target for misinformation concerning the pandemic. We’ve debunked several claims, including that he said "church services can’t resume until we’re all vaccinated," that the Gates Foundation paralyzed nearly 500,000 children testing a polio vaccine, and that the foundation has a patent for the coronavirus. 

An image lurking in certain corners of the internet has a similar theme. It shows what looks like the corner of a foundation building, with the words "Bill & Melinda Gates foundation" seemingly etched in the facade. Above that? These words: "Center for Global Human Population Reduction." 

"Right out in front for the world to see their plan," reads one Facebook post sharing the image.

It was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

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The image appears to be a doctored photo of 500 Fifth Ave N., the foundation’s headquarters in Seattle. We searched for that address in Google Maps and found this photo, which shows the foundation’s name and the street number 500, just as it appears in the image on the Facebook post, but without the name of the supposed center. 

The corner of the building is also visible in the Google Maps street view. The "Center for Global Population Reduction" marking doesn’t appear on the building.

The foundation’s 2018 annual report, the most recent available, makes no mention of such a center or even population. We also didn’t find that center searching the foundation’s website.

But allegations that Bill Gates is wielding vaccines to thin human herds aren’t new. In 2018, for example, we fact-checked a false story that he had a "plan to depopulate the planet." That claim was wrong, and as several other fact-checkers have found, so is this one.   

We rate this Facebook post False.


Our Sources

Facebook post, April 28, 2020

PolitiFact, Bill Gates warned in 2015 that we were unprepared for an infectious virus, March 25, 2020

PolitiFact, Fact-checking a Facebook conspiracy about Bill Gates, Dr. Fauci and COVID-19, April 14, 2020

PolitiFact, No, Bill Gates didn’t say no church services until everyone is vaccinated, April 13, 2020

PolitiFact, Anti-vaxxers spread conspiracy about Bill Gates and India’s polio vaccination, April 23, 2020

PolitiFact, No, Bill Gates did not outline 2018 plan to depopulate the planet, May 3, 2018

Photo of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, visited April 4, 2020

Google Maps street view of 500 5th Ave N., Seattle, WA, visited April 4, 2020

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2018 annual report

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This photo of the Gates Foundation has been altered

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