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2 Nov, 2018 19:12

‘I’m not a vampire,’ says billionaire Peter Thiel after years of young blood injection rumors

‘I’m not a vampire,’ says billionaire Peter Thiel after years of young blood injection rumors

PayPal co-founder and Donald Trump donor Peter Thiel has denied partaking in life-extension therapies involving blood transfusions from young donors, saying he is in fact “not a vampire,” lest anyone have any lingering doubts.

Speaking to an audience at the New York Times Dealbook conference, Thiel insisted that he has never injected himself with the blood of a younger person in an effort to extend his own life.

I want to publicly tell you that I'm not a vampire. On the record, I am not a vampire.

Questions have plagued Thiel about his interest in life-extension therapies for years. In 2016, the now-defunct Gawker website claimed that it had received an unverified tip that the billionaire spends $40,000 per quarter to receive an “infusion of blood from an 18-year-old based on research conducted at Stanford on extending the lives of mice.”

Gawker also cited a 2009 essay by Thiel in which he wrote that he didn’t buy into the the ideology of the inevitability of the death of every individual.” In a 2012 interview with CBS, Thiel went further:

There are all these people who say that death is natural, it’s just part of life, and I think that nothing can be further from the truth.

Those comments prompted Gawker to suggest that the businessman’s “vision of the world is based on the idea that nothing, not even his own body, should limit the power or potential of Peter Thiel.”

Thiel has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the research activities of gerontologist Aubrey de Grey who is on a mission to convince the world to embrace the idea that aging in the traditional manner is not an inevitability.

Speaking at the conference on Thursday, Thiel said he believes "there's a lot that can be done" and his major concern is that science is "just not trying hard enough." He said he believes there is a "cultural problem" in that investors are biased against taking too much risk in science and opt for small rewards instead of big breakthroughs.

Thiel said a balance needed to be struck between being too pessimistic and too optimistic. “I think the healthy attitude is not a halcyon like optimism but is sort of somewhere in between and that what we need to do is resist acceptance, resist denial, we need to just fight,” he said.

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