Social media users celebrate bills opposing public health measures

Louisiana recently passed a bill that would ban the World Health Organization, United Nations, and World Economic Forum from having “any jurisdiction or power” within the state. Some social media users and “health freedom” groups are hoping that this bill will prevent Louisiana from being affected by the WHO pandemic treaty. Social media posts across multiple platforms are celebrating the Louisiana bill along with other bills and statements from political officials that oppose public health measures, such as masking and vaccinations.

Recommendation: Online conversations about these bills promote a number of false claims about the WHO pandemic treaty and the safety and effectiveness of respiratory virus mitigation methods. Ensuring that health departments, community-based organizations, and other partners in Louisiana have updated informational materials explaining that the treaty is meant for collective pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response and that it does not authorize the WHO to dictate pandemic response in any country or grant it authority over a country’s policies is recommended. These conversations also provide an opportunity to reiterate the importance of disease mitigation measures. Messaging may emphasize that vaccines—along with other mitigation methods like masking—are our best protection against viruses that can cause severe illness, hospitalization, death, and long-term health complications.