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False claim about Dr Harsh Vardhan's appointment as WHO Executive Board chairman viral on social media

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Summary

Unlike social media claims Dr Harsh Vardhan has not only addressed a press conference but the proposal to appoint him was signed by the 194-nation World Health Assembly.

Recently, India’s Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has been appointed as the WHO Executive Board chairman. This news led to some criticisms online with some netizens claiming that it is ironic that the Health Minister has not addressed a single press conference in India, however, he has been appointed as the WHO Executive Board chairman. 

Here are some tweets and posts which criticize the appointment. Some of them have even mocked him by photoshopping onto the picture of him in the WHO meeting.

A Facebook page "Achhe Din Aa Gaye" shared a photoshopped picture with a message "India's Health Minister who has not done a SINGLE PRESS CONFERENCE since PANDEMIC started will be taking charge of WHO. Note for Bhakts: Don't get excited, the post is rotated among members automatically and it was India's turn. It's not because of our minister's performance in tackling Covid-19"

A Twitter user SwePost wrote "#india Health Minister who has not done a SINGLE PRESS CONFERENCE since #PANDEMIC started will be taking charge of WHO. #Bhakts: Don't get excited, the post is rotated among members automatically. It's not because of our ministers performance in tackling #covidiotgovt".

Here is the original picture,

Did India’s Health Minister not have a single press conference before taking charge of WHO?

Most of these posts and tweets claim that the Health Minister has not conducted a single press conference in India. However, this can be proven false as there are articles reporting the Health Minister Harsh Vardhan addressing press conferences.

According to a report by NDTV, on May 6, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan expressed concern about the situation in Maharashtra due to coronavirus outbreak.

How India's health minister was appointed?

People have claimed that the post is rotated among members and it was India’s turn now. This is partially true because it is right that the post is rotated among members, however, the South-Asian group of WHO had unanimously elected India as a nominee to the executive board for a three-year term beginning May last year. The rotation is done once a year among the regional groups and India’s nominee, Harsh Vardhan was to be appointed as Executive Chairman for the first time now. The proposal to appoint him was signed by the 194-nation World Health Assembly. 

In conclusion, the claims that were made against the appointment of India’s Health Minister as the Executive Board Chairman of WHO are false. 

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