Elon Musk accused of spreading fake news by WHO

Elon Musk accused of spreading fake news by WHO


The WHO on Thursday accused Elon Musk, without naming him, of spreading “fake news” after a tweet from the multi-billionaire calling on countries to “not cede their authority” over the draft agreement aimed at fighting pandemics. 

The controversy started earlier in the day, when Elon Musk tweeted: “Countries must not cede authority to the WHO”, in reference to the ongoing discussions within the UN agency to establish an agreement aimed at helping countries to better prevent and fight against pandemics.

The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, first replied to him on Twitter: “Countries do not cede their sovereignty to the WHO”.

“The pandemic agreement is not going to change that. The agreement will help countries better protect themselves against pandemics. It will help us better protect people, whether they live in rich or poor countries,” he said.

Shortly after, Dr Tedros returned to the subject at the start of his weekly press conference on global health issues, pointing to “misinformation” about the deal circulating on social media. /p>

“The claim that the deal will cede power to the WHO is simply false. This is +fake news+”, he continued.

He assured that “it is the countries which will decide what the agreement says, and them alone”, and which “ will implement the agreement in accordance with their own laws.”

And, he added, “if any politician, businessman or anyone else is confused about what the pandemic accord is and isn't, we would be more than 'happy to discuss and explain.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

In early March, Dr Tedros told reporters that WHO Member States should soon begin negotiations on this draft agreement, aimed in particular at settling the issues of information sharing and inequalities in access to vaccines observed between rich countries and developing countries in the face of Covid.

L he agreement would also strengthen national, regional and global capacities for pandemic preparedness, detection, alert and response.

He said he hoped that the negotiations could be concluded by May 2024 and had called on countries “to learn the lessons of this pandemic” so as not to repeat its mistakes.

This draft agreement was born following the failure of the common international authority to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, the States, but also the WHO, having been accused of having acted too late and in a way that showed little solidarity.