Conspiracy theorists find viral 'evidence' on Australian note
- Published: Jun 1, 2020, 7 AM
Australia’s $10 bill has given conspiracy theorists a new cause to pursue because it is clear to them based on the note, that the entire coronavirus scare is a hoax. Numerous posts on Facebook and Twitter since mid-May asserted that proof is hidden on the “new” $10 notes of an orchestrated global conspiracy by billionaires and governments to force vaccinations on the public.
The conspiracy theorists point to two features on the back of the note. They say one of them is a number of representations of the virus, appearing in gold at the top right and in yellow at the center, and in gray at the left. If that is not enough, they claim that on the lower right side is a vignette of billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates sitting at a desk, reading a document.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a leader in promoting global health, including vaccinations. Gates has become an object of obsession within the “anti-vaxxer” movement, a segment of which is claiming that he will be using vaccinations to plant microchips in unknowing victims.
An examination of the note and its history, however, points to entirely different explanations for the design elements.
The note is not new. It has been in circulation since September 2017, some two years before the coronavirus is believed to have surfaced in China. The Reserve Bank of Australia describes it in detail on its website, but it further responded directly to press agency AFP when questioned about the hoax. It said that design elements being mischaracterized as the coronavirus are actually the wattle plant, adding, “One of these native plants appears on each denomination of the Next Generation Banknotes series, with a different type on each banknote. On the $10 it is a designer’s interpretation of Bramble Wattle (Acacia victoriae). It is on various places on the banknote, including the top-to-bottom window, the fluorescent feature and the rolling color effect.”
Furthermore, the Reserve Bank of Australia explains, “The image of a person on the note is not Bill Gates. It is Australian writer Mary Gilmore. A caption for the image on the bank website reads: ‘PORTRAIT OF GILMORE AT HER DESK.’ The image is based on a 1952 photograph in the State Library of Victoria.”
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