Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2020

Hamilton says social media post promoting anti-vaccine video was “misinterpreted”

2020 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton has issued a clarification after sharing an anti-vaccine social media post with his 18 million followers.

The six-times world champion shared a video of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has poured money into vaccine research, rejected unfounded accusations relating to vaccines. The video included a comment from another user which implied Gates was lying.

Following criticism of the post by many of his followers, Hamilton said he hadn’t seen the comment when he shared the video.

“I want to clarify my thoughts on it, as I understand why they might have been misinterpreted,” he said.

“Firstly, 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.”

Hamilton also indicated he still has some concerns about vaccines.

“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 January the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation pledged $10 billion over the next 10 years to aid every stage of the development and distribution of vaccines. However some countries have seen falls in vaccination rates, which some have blamed on a rise in ‘anti-vax’ conspiracy theories spread on social media.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 40 comments on “Hamilton says social media post promoting anti-vaccine video was “misinterpreted””

    1. Slow news day I guess.

      1. No, not really. Just look at how many comments any Ham thread gets on here compared to what the rest of F1 gets in any given day. At least two thirds of the posters are here because they have never been so offended. Well not since the last time a Ham story was posted. They were really offended then as well.

    2. When will people learn… social media has NEVER done any good for anyone’s reputation. It’s only ever destroyed it!

    3. So he puts up a genuine clip of Gates promoting vaccines; some one points out its been put up by conspiracy nutters. He takes it down and posts that he is applauding Gates work, believes in vaccines and says he should have read the comments underneath first. And that’s considered news these days? I suppose I need to join the twitterati now so I can tell everyone how offended I am by it all.

      1. Basically, yes – although, given how some are reacting in this thread, you don’t need to go onto Twitter to find people making an elaborate show of wanting to look as offended as possible.

      2. He reposted a Gates clip on instagram that had comments where the original poster indicated Gates was lying.

      3. I take it you don’t know instagram

    4. So you see Lewis, lots of followers means lots of responsibility when using social media.

      1. Or, put another way, with great power comes great responsibility.

        OMG!!! Lewis was bitten by a radioactive spider!!!

    5. Hemingway (@)
      27th July 2020, 21:45

      Truly a genius beyond his time… Or a perfect idiot target for BLM… Let’s also kneel this weekend for all the children and adults who will sadly die in the future because morons like LH give attention to the anti-vaccine movement. Disgusting. #CancelHamilton

    6. Hemingway (@)
      27th July 2020, 21:47

      What a genius he is.

    7. This guy is losing his marbles, what an idiot.
      Mercedes need to dump this clown and employ a proper racing driver.

      1. I said this before (Tongue in cheek), but?
        Aston Martin = Stroll, Vettel
        Merc = Bottas, Perez
        Why not? Merc don’t need Ham, they would win with many less expensive drivers, especially one like Perez who comes with money.

    8. “After watching the video, I felt it showed that there is still a lot of uncertainty about the side effects”

      What and uneducated oppinion. This is disappointing but unfortunately a reality that some of the older generation who still have a voice today cannot get out of their own way and acknowledge there is a problem. with anti vaxers.
      Its just plain ignorance but it is never too late to learn and I hope that this man can take the time to educate himself.

      1. Sadly he represents a much larger group of society than most realise. He’s not overtly anti-vax, but many feel rightly or wrongly, that this vaccine is being ‘rushed’ and thus not tested properly. Most of this fear is from lack of education rather than outright objection to science. I’m a nurse in the UK, and as such am personally very supportive of a vaccines, and generally see anti-vaxxers as science denying nutters. But somethings different this time. People are already scared by Covid, and the press keep talking about a ‘rush for a vaccine’. It’s bound to scare people with the right knowledge.

      2. @mrgrieves Especially when they rush vaccines like is happening now with Corona virus, the side effects can be serious and even lethal though.

        1. Except that ‘rushing’ in this case doesn’t mean skipping steps. Due to the urgent nature of the situation, people are throwing more time, money and energy at getting a Corona virus vaccine on the market ASAP. That doesn’t mean, however, that the institutions doing it are skipping steps in comparison to their normal process of vaccine development. The media coverage that every single step of this vaccine development process is taking is also not helpful.

          Developing a vaccine to the point that it’s ready for global distribution is a very long and difficult process and the Covid vaccine will undergo all necessary steps that all other vaccines so far have undergone, before it is made available to the public. The side effects that Lewis is scared of, are a very normal step that the researchers work through with every vaccine that is made, and at this stage in the development process, is a borderline dangerous reason to deny the viability of a vaccine and its effect on the fight against the pandemic.

          Lewis apologised for his actions, and then justified them with a very invalid reason, which just makes the whole thing worse.

          1. William Jones
            29th July 2020, 5:06

            Don’t talk nonsense – you can’t throw money at detecting ADE, or number of labs. You need time and viable mutations of the virus in question.

            If the anti-antivaxxers are going to lie, or spread misleading information as you just have, then you are just as culpable as an antivaxxer for the resulting deaths. Sorry, but you are, these people are paranoid and your fibs are simple for them to discover, and what do you think happens to paranoid people who discover that they really are being lied to?

    9. Chris Horton
      27th July 2020, 22:27

      Calamity Hamilton.

    10. A bit of over step, for the second time.

    11. NeverElectric
      28th July 2020, 4:12

      Let’s see:
      1. Lewis shared a video in which Bill Gates rejects unfounded accusations about his charity work.
      2. That video includes a person making the sorts of unfounded accusations that Bill Gates rejects.
      3. Lewis is being criticised for sharing that video, so much so that he has to come out and clarify that he does not share the views of the person whose comments are being rejected in the video.

      Is that correct?
      If so, the world is madder than I ever thought.

      1. No, Lewis shared a post of someone who called Bill Gates a liar for giving these answers.

        1. Sergey Martyn
          30th July 2020, 8:03

          Why just not to voice his own opinion instead of sharing others babble? Social media would become much clearer and healthier if sharing were prohibited. Then we’ll clearly see if someone has something meaningful to say instead of neverending news feed consisting of meaningless shares

    12. So when it doesn’t go his way he says things like ““It’s not my job to come up with rules and tell people what to do. What I see on TV is people out trying to live their lives during this difficult time, but this thing continues to spread,” Hamilton said. But he spends his time trying to tell F1 and other drivers how they should deal with Racism and BLM ETC.
      Is it your job to tell people or not Lewis? make up your mind.

    13. Attack the person and not the message. Good

    14. No, just no….. as a public figure you have a responsibility. And that means you cannot make mistakes like this time and time again.

      I have great respect for hamilton the driver, I think he is the best there ever was (and this comes from a Schumacher and verstappen fan) but as a person/personality: blerghhhhhhhhhh

    15. Considering how many deaths antivaxxers are responsible for every year it’s rather important. We should all be offended, actually outraged, by the people who spread the lies and misinformation and create an environment that allows them to prey on vulnerable and desperate people and persuade those vulnerable people to not take their frequently life-saving medicines.
      Antivaxxers and their pro-disease attitudes cost lives. So yes, it’s news when someone with Hamilton’s media profile promotes dangerous pseudoscience. And he should be more responsible. It was an error on his part and I hope sincerely that the people around him are capable of advising him properly so the same mistake is not repeated.

      1. @davethedrummer, this is the most sensible comment in this thread.

      2. Agreed.
        And considering he’s very quick to point fingers at other drivers and teams for what he believes is their lack of public support for his important issue, he should be subject to the same spotlight now for his beliefs and behavior on this massively important issue at this time.

      3. How many deaths are antivaxxers responsible for every year?

    16. Hamilton is becoming a living proof a human needs to eat meat to function normally. He is aparently missing something in his nutrition and it is showing. And that refers to his overall behaviour.

    17. Wow. So many vile comments on Lewis’s minor mistake which he already apologized.

    18. Here in the U.S. there are highly educated, “normal,” professional people who are anti-vaxx or who delay vaccinations for their kids. Some say it causes autism and other ills. We know a couple pretty well who do that with their kids, delaying their immunizations. My wife and I can’t understand how they came about this idea but we don’t dare raise it.

      I’m afraid that when a vaccine does arrive there will be a real melee with anti-vaxxers trying to seize the moment for their ideology and a lot of countries trying to compete to get first access to it. We already saw the U.S. make a move with the German firm.

      1. There are valid and proven cases through medical history where vaccines caused all sorts of problems, E.G. a birth control vaccine/drug that landed up causing many malformed Babies. Just saying there is some grounds for peoples concerns, but they are rather small when compared to the alternative.

    19. If you want to be an anti-vaxxer then get together with the others, go purchase an island and stay there. We all will wait 20 years, come in and mop up the mess and have a free island.

    20. Its such a shame that Lewis feels compelled to comment (Much like me here really:)) on stuff that he is emotionally attached too even when he doesn’t fully understand the real situation or the ramifications of his comments. He is trying to be smart outside of his area of expertise. I for 1 am fast loosing respect for him.
      A smart person would look beyond their own emotional attachment and try to gather, collate and clarify facts in order to form an informed opinion.

    21. Anti vax, Vegan, BLM. Its getting harder and harder to be a Lewis fan.

      1. Speaking of a founding member of r/antivegan – why on earth would someone’s choice of diet – no matter how how misguided – influence your appreciation of their sporting? That’s why veganism is so poisonous, because it’s a cult (Before you argue, vegans, why is all your “science research” conducted by 7th day adventists?) veganism is poisonous because it’s a cult which does not brook personal morality and choice – so if you also cannot brook personal morality and choice, how are you better?

        1. “why on earth would someones choice of diet influence your…..” Because of the lecturing. I don’t care what people choose to eat or not eat, but spare me the lectures about what I should eat.

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