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• The airport in Geneva, Switzerland, did not blow up. A fire broke out at a building under construction outside the perimeter of the airport.
• The 75th World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization’s member states, opened as scheduled on May 22 in Geneva.
• A “pandemic treaty” will not be agreed upon at the World Health Assembly.
A Facebook post made conspiratorial claims that a Geneva meeting of world health leaders was canceled because of a fire in the city’s airport.
The May 22 post alludes to the World Health Assembly and says it was canceled "after the Geneva airport was coincidentally blown up."
The post features a TikTok video of a fire, and the caption says, "Preparing for the arrivals of the (World Health Organization) ‘elite’ where a Plandemic treaty meeting is being held, two massive explosions erupt at the Geneva Airport, Switzerland. The meeting was canceled after the Geneva airport was coincidentally blown up."
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
However, the Geneva airport did not blow up. A fire broke out at a building under construction outside the perimeter of the airport. The only effect on the airport itself was that flights were temporarily disrupted because of heavy smoke, according to media reports.
The fire did not lead to the cancellation of the meeting referenced in the post. The 75th World Health Assembly forum opened as scheduled on May 22 in Geneva, United Nations News reported. The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of the WHO’s member states. There are photos of the opening day of the event.
The video footage in the Facebook post appears to be of the actual fire; it matches footage published by The Daily Mail, a British newspaper.
The fire occurred at a building that, when completed, will be a federal center for asylum seekers, according to the Evening Standard. The London newspaper also said the cause of the fire is not yet known.
The Facebook post called the World Health Assembly a "Plandemic treaty meeting," referencing the title of a 2020 documentary, "Plandemic." That documentary was full of false conspiracy theories about the coronavirus.
The World Health Assembly meeting also has been "clouded by conspiracy theories about (a) pandemic treaty," according to the Washington Post, stemming from the WHO’s in-progress revamp of international rules for responding to pandemics.
Even though the assembly likely will discuss pandemic protocols, a pandemic treaty "is not imminent," and the target date for the final draft is 2024, the Washington Post reported.
A Facebook post says the World Health Assembly was canceled "after the Geneva airport was coincidentally blown up."
The Geneva airport did not blow up. A fire broke out at a building under construction outside the perimeter of the airport. The only effect on the airport was that flights were temporarily disrupted because of heavy smoke.
The fire did not disrupt the World Health Assembly, which opened as scheduled on May 22 in Geneva.
We rate this claim False.
Daily Mail, "Huge fire breaks out at Geneva Airport as reception centre for asylum seekers 'explodes' during construction," May 20, 2022
Evening Standard, "Geneva airport: Fire breaks out nearby as black smoke seen covering the sky," May 21, 2022
Facebook post, May 22, 2022
PolitiFact, "Fact-checking ‘Plandemic’: A documentary full of false conspiracy theories about the coronavirus," May 7, 2020
PolitiFact, "No, the US is not backing a WHO takeover of national health policies," May 19, 2022
Reuters, "Photo," May 22, 2022
The Local, "Fire next to Geneva Airport disrupts flights," May 20, 2022
United Nations News, "'COVID-19 is not over', Tedros warns World Health Assembly," May 22, 2022
Washington Post, "Global health talks clouded by conspiracy theories about pandemic treaty," May 22, 2022
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