• Bill Gates is sounding the alarm on political polarization in the US.
  • “Political polarization may bring it all to an end, we’re going to have a hung election and a civil war,” he told Forbes recently.
  • Gates, who has been the target of many conspiracy theories over the years, also pointed out the dangers of misinformation.

Bill Gates usually focuses on issues like poverty and infectious diseases through his charitable foundation, but another problem on his mind is the polarization of US politics.

“I admit that political polarization may bring it all to an end, we’re going to have a hung election and a civil war,” he recently said in the keynote conversation at this year’s Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy. “I have no expertise in that. I’m not going to divert my money to that because I wouldn’t know how to spend it.”

Political polarization, he says, goes hand-in-hand with another issue: the spread of misinformation.

“The polarization and lack of trust is a problem,” he continued to Forbes. “One of the best-selling books last year was a book by Robert Kennedy, saying that I like to make money and kill millions of people with vaccines. It’s wild that sells well.”

Over the years, Gates and ex-wife Melinda French Gates have donated billions to vaccine research, development, and delivery through their foundation. Gates has been the subject of conspiracy theories that claim he puts microchips in vaccines to track people. Earlier this month, Gates said people have yelled such accusations at him on the street.

“People seek simple solutions [and] the truth is kind of boring sometimes. Anybody who’s got good innovations on reducing polarization, getting the truth to be as interesting as the crazy stuff, that would be well worth investing in,” Gates told Forbes.

Gates’ summer reading list for this year, which he announced in June, includes “Why We’re Polarized” by Ezra Klein.

“I’m generally optimistic about the future, but one thing that dampens my outlook a bit is the increasing polarization in America, especially when it comes to politics,” Gates wrote at the time in a blog post about his book picks.

Also during the Forbes keynote conversation, Gates said he and his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates, hope to keep their charitable foundation running for 25 more years to focus on tackling infectious diseases.