Lewis Hamilton slammed following controversial 'anti-vaxx' Instagram post
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Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton has sent fans into a frenzy after posting a video an anti-vaxx video to his Instagram on Monday.
Originally uploaded by a separate Instagram account that contains several conspiracy theories, the clip features Microsoft co-founder-turned-healthcare-philanthropist Bill Gates speaking on American network CBS about COVID-19.
In the video, Gates is quizzed about the forthcoming coronavirus vaccine, defending concerns about side effects and costs. The 64-year-old is also asked whether the vaccine will be used for people to be tracked with inserted microchips.
“No, there’s no connection between any of these vaccines and any tracking type thing at all, I don’t know where that came from,” Gates said.
The video is captioned: “I remember when I told my first lie”.
The post was shared by Canadian-American internet personality Andrew Bachelor to Instagram on Monday, and was then reposted by Hamilton to his own account, which boasts over 18.3 million followers. It was later deleted.
It’s unclear what Hamilton intended to convey by posting the clip, but F1 fans on Twitter and Reddit began frantically discussing whether the British driver was an anti-vaxxer.
One Twitter user posted: “Very sad to find out that @LewisHamilton is an anti-vaxxer. I have been a big fan but wow, this is a problem.”
Another wrote: “Lewis Hamilton, with no less than 18 million followers on Instagram, goes on to repost antivaxx conspiracy bulls**t. Sir, I applaud your climate and social activism, but please don’t spread dangerous disinformation.”
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A post shared by Andrew Bachelor (@kingbach) on Jul 26, 2020 at 8:59am PDT
The “plant-based” sports star has previously used his Instagram account to call out racism in motorsport and support the use of masks and handwashing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Having already won two F1 races during this reduced season, Hamilton is preparing for next weekend’s British Grand Prix at Singleton.
Speaking to Autosport, the 35-year-old warned fans against trying to catch a glimpse of the highly-anticipated event which will be held behind closed doors, encouraging everyone to “remain at home”.
“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.
“So, I always just try to encourage people to keep their distance and remain at home. And us holding an event which we’re really trying to remain (focused) and always keep our distances from everyone whilst we’re doing our job.
“I can understand people will want to go and watch from a distance, just to get the sound of the car or to get a sneak peek of the car. But if that means that you’re in a crowd of other people, that’s definitely not a good thing, and I wouldn’t advise that.”