(Geneva) The WHO on Thursday accused Elon Musk, without naming him, of spreading “fake news” after a tweet by the multi-billionaire calling on countries to “not cede their authority” over the draft international agreement to fight against pandemics.

The controversy started earlier in the day, when Elon Musk tweeted, “Countries must not cede their authority to the WHO,” referring to ongoing discussions within the UN agency to establish a agreement to help countries better prevent and fight against pandemics.

The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, first responded to him on Twitter: “Countries don’t 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.

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

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 it’.

In early March, Dr Tedros told reporters that WHO member states would soon begin negotiations on the draft agreement, including addressing issues of information sharing and unequal access to vaccines. observed between rich and developing countries in the face of COVID-19.

The 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 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 international community to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the States, but also the WHO, having been accused of having acted too late and with little solidarity. .