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stated on May 15, 2024 in an X post:
Video shows Slovakia Prime Minister Fico speaking against the World Health Organization the week before he was the target of an assassination attempt.
true false
Loreben Tuquero
By Loreben Tuquero May 16, 2024

Video of Slovakia Prime Minister speaking against WHO was from November, not ‘last week’

If Your Time is short

  • Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico made this speech during an assembly in November 2023, not a "week" before he got shot.

  • Slovakian Interior Minister Matúš Šutaj Eštok said the 71-year-old charged with trying to assassinate Fico did not belong to a political party but was politically motivated. Fico’s position on the World Health Organization’s pandemic plan was not among the policies Šutaj Eštok said the suspect mentioned as being objectionable.

Following a violent assassination attempt on Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico, some social media users circulated video of a speech he made opposing a World Health Organization plan.

"Only last week Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico gave this speech: ‘I also clearly declare that we (Slovakia Democratic Party) WILL NOT support strengthening the Powers of the World Health Organisation,’" said a May 15 X post viewed more than a million times and amplified by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. "Today he has been shot in public."

(Screenshot from X)

Fico was shot several times May 15 in Handlova, in central Slovakia. He was rushed to the hospital, had emergency surgery and was fighting for his life hours later, Slovakian Defense Minister Robert Kaliňák said in a press conference

Although Fico made this speech, he didn’t do so "last week."  The X post’s video was from a November 2023 assembly of Smer, the party Fico chairs.

The WHO’s pandemic treaty, a draft global accord among the 194 member states, is a frequent subject of misinformation.

The document, formally known as the WHO’s pandemic prevention, preparedness and response accord, is a legal agreement that the organization’s member states, including the U.S., are negotiating to help prevent and better prepare for future pandemics. 

The plan was meant to be finalized May 10, but the deadline lapsed with no final draft. 

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The WHO said members continue to refine the draft agreement. Negotiators were aiming to have the final draft of the pact ready to be ratified at the World Health Assembly that starts May 27.

Fico spoke in Slovak; multiple sources showed he spoke against the WHO pandemic accord in his speech. 

The Slovak Spectator, a news outlet, reported Dec. 8 that Fico said his administration "will not strengthen the competencies of the WHO in any way," and called the treaty "nonsense that must have been created by insatiable pharmaceutical companies." 

Interior Minister Matúš Šutaj Eštok said the suspected shooter, a 71-year-old man from Levice, Slovakia, whom government authorities have not fully named, acted as a "lone wolf" and now faces attempted premeditated murder charges. Šutaj Eštok described the attack as politically motivated although the suspect belonged to no political groups, The Associated Press reported.

Šutaj Eštok said the suspect expressed his disagreement with Fico’s policies and was moved to act after an ally of Fico won the presidential election last year. 

CNN reported that Šutaj Eštok said, "The reasons (the suspect gave) were the decision to abolish the special prosecutor’s office, the decision to stop supplying military assistance to Ukraine, the reform of public service broadcaster and the dismissal of the judicial council head."

Fico is serving his fourth term as prime minister since 2006. He founded the Smer party, which is increasingly shifting to right-wing ideology, the New York Times reported. Fico is known for his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, he opposed sanctions against Russia and announced a stop to military aid to Ukraine.

The X video of Fico speaking against the WHO was not from the week before he was shot. We rate that claim False.

Our Sources

X post, May 15, 2024

Facebook post (archived), May 15, 2024

X post by Marjorie Taylor Greene, May 15, 2024

CNN, Slovakia's prime minister expected to survive after shooting, May 15, 2024

PolitiFact, WHO pandemic preparedness treaty will not remove human rights protections, restrict freedoms, Sept. 5, 2023

PolitiFact, Pandemic treaty wouldn’t give the WHO power to forcibly vaccinate people, Jan. 26, 2024

PolitiFact, False claim resurfaces about WHO pandemic treaty and US sovereignty, April 10, 2024

World Health Organization, Governments agree to continue their steady progress on proposed pandemic agreement ahead of the World Health Assembly, May 10, 2024

Reuters, Pandemic treaty talks will go on after missed deadline, some progress, WHO says, May 10, 2024

Euractiv, WHO pandemic accord under disinformation attacks in Slovakia, Jan. 2, 2024

The Slovak Spectator, New WHO pandemic treaty is targeted by Slovak disinformation actors, Dec. 8, 2023

YouTube video, Solemn meeting of the political party SMER - social democracy 17.11.2023 | Bratislava castle (title translated by Google), Nov. 17, 2023

The New York Times, Suspect Is Charged in Attempted Killing of Slovakia’s Leader, May 16, 2024

The Associated Press, Slovak authorities charge ‘lone wolf’ with assassination attempt on the prime minister, May 16, 2024

CNN, Suspect charged in attempted assassination of Slovakia leader, May 16, 2024

The New York Times, Who Is Robert Fico, the Slovakian Prime Minister?, May 15, 2024

The Washington Post, Who is Robert Fico, Slovakia’s prime minister who was shot?, May 16, 2024

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Video of Slovakia Prime Minister speaking against WHO was from November, not ‘last week’

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