No, pandemic accord doesn't allow WHO to mandate vaccines, control governments | Fact check

The claim: Pandemic treaty would allow WHO to forcibly 'vaccinate the population' and control government resources

A May 31, 2023, Facebook post (direct link, archive link) shows a flow chart titled, "How it'll flow if the new W.H.O. pandemic treaty is signed."

Text included in the chart claims the so-called "pandemic treaty" will allow the World Health Organization to declare a health emergency, mandate vaccines, take "full control of all your governments (sic) resources" and then use local law enforcement, militaries and U.N. soldiers to "forecably (sic) vaccinate the population."

A similar Jan. 24 Instagram post was liked more than 600 times before it was deleted.

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Our rating: False

A proposed WHO treaty meant to help countries prevent and respond to future pandemics would not allow the WHO to mandate vaccines or control any government's resources, according to experts. The treaty has not been finalized, but a draft version of it states countries have the right to determine their own approach to public health.

Proposal would not allow WHO to mandate vaccines

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO’s member states (including the U.S.) agreed about two years ago to develop a global accord aimed at preventing and responding to future pandemics. An early draft of the proposed accord was published in February 2023, but the final draft isn't expected to be considered until May.

But the post's claim that the proposed accord would let WHO mandate vaccines and control government resources is false, Lawrence Gostin, a Georgetown Law professor involved in negotiations, previously told USA TODAY.

“The treaty would seek global cooperation in preventing and responding to a pandemic,” Gostin said. "But it does not dictate to any country how it should make domestic health policy. In particular, the WHO does not gain any powers over states."

The federal government, along with state governments, will still decide their pandemic-related policies, Gostin said.

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In a YouTube video posted by the WHO in July 2023, Steven Solomon, WHO's principal legal officer, also refutes the idea that the proposed accord gives the organization the authority to mandate vaccines.

"The treaty isn't going to give WHO power to dictate vaccine mandates," Solomon said. "The treaty won't give WHO as an organization, as a staff, the power to dictate anything."

The draft of the proposed accord says countries have "the sovereign right to determine and manage their approach to public health, notably pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery of health systems."

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the treaty was at risk of falling apart due to “a torrent of fake news, lies, and conspiracy theories," The Guardian reported Jan. 22.

USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

PolitiFact also debunked the claim.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Proposed accord encourages global pandemic preparedness | Fact check