Did Bill Gates-funded Pirbright Institute patent coronavirus? Fact Check

Bill Gates funded Pirbright Institute applied for a patent on coronavirus in 2015, claimed a Facebook post fuelling wild conspiracy theories behind the ongoing pandemic. It said the Event 201 by Bill Gates was a coronavirus simulation that starts in Wuhan, China and that ID 2020 injects toxic vaccine and monitors the movement via 5G. Here is a list of these claims making rounds again:


Fact Check:

Pirbright Institute is a research institute that studies infectious diseases of farm animals and is based in England. It is true that the Gates Foundation did fund a research center in the Institute to study two diseases that are rampant in the livestock of the developing countries. The Institute is aware of the misinformation which brings them into the spiral of viral news spreading online.

On its website, the institute stated that it “carries out research on infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), a coronavirus that infects poultry, and porcine deltacoronavirus that infects pigs. Pirbright does not currently work with human coronaviruses.” The institute does hold a patent but it is restricted to the study of a weakened form of coronavirus found in birds and other animals and not humans and is not Covid-19 that has triggered the current pandemic.


The Event 201 was conducted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on October 18, 2019, in New York. This exercise illustrated the areas “where public/private partnerships will be necessary during the response to a severe pandemic in order to diminish large-scale economic and societal consequences”.

The event simulated an outbreak of coronavirus from bats to pigs which shifted onto human to human transmission thus causing a pandemic. Unlike what the claim says, the simulation does not start in Wuhan but it starts in pig farms of Brazil and is exported by air travel to Portugal, the United States, and China and then to many other countries. This, in no means, implies that they introduced the virus.

CONCLUSION: All the claims in the message above are speculative and attributed with no evidence. Our rating is Misrepresentation.

About Arun Nag

Arun is with Digiteye India since the beginning as the main source for re-writing stories and for re-checking the facts and images. He writes on general and political issues. He can be reached at admin@digiteye.in or softmediahub@gmail.com

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