The claim: Biden’s executive order declares that Americans must surrender human rights
On Sept. 12, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to invest in biotechnology and biomanufacturing innovation to advance health, climate and other matters. But some online claim the order is linked to something more nefarious.
"The plan is no longer secret. Biden's Sept. 12, 2022 Executive Order declares that Americans must surrender all human rights that stand in the way of transhumanism," reads an Instagram post shared Sept. 18.
The post also claims that clinical trial safety standards and informed consent will be eradicated and that the executive order is implementing crimes against humanity "in order to achieve the societal goals of the new world order."
The post generated over 350 likes in less than a week.
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But the claim is baseless.
Global health and human rights experts told USA TODAY the executive order does not eradicate human rights in any way or even relate to the transhumanism movement. The claim is tied to the baseless new world order conspiracy theory, which USA TODAY has previously debunked.
USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the claim for comment.
Biden's executive order won't eliminate human rights
The claim is "totally off and not true," Samantha Reposa, a White House spokesperson, told USA TODAY in an email.
There is nothing in Biden's executive order that weakens existing human rights protections in any way, Arthur Applbaum, a professor of democratic values at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, told USA TODAY in an email.
“The second sentence of the order says, ‘Central to this policy and its outcomes are principles of equity, ethics, safety, and security,’ and this is not mere happy talk,” Applbaum said. “The executive order attends to these considerations throughout.”
The order also says Biden's administration "must ensure that uses of biotechnology and biomanufacturing are ethical and responsible; are centered on a foundation of equity and public good…and are consistent with respect for human rights.”
Transhumanism, which the post invokes, refers to the idea of using permanently integrated technology to increase human perception, emotions or intelligence. Biden's order has nothing to do with this concept, Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, told USA TODAY in an email. He noted the post's claims about human trials are also baseless – participants still have a right to informed consent and there remain strong safety standards in clinical trials, Gostin said.
The new world order conspiracy theory claims that a cabal of elites are working to implement a government structure that would enslave the global populace and eliminate freedoms, according to the Middleburg Institute of International Studies. USA TODAY has debunked the conspiracy theory’s claims before.
The post also ties this conspiracy theory to crimes against humanity, which is defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as a “systematic attack directed against any civilian population,” according to the United Nations. The order references nothing of the sort.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Biden’s executive order declares that Americans must surrender human rights. The executive order says that central to its objectives are the principles of safety and equity, and that Biden's administration must ensure that uses of biotechnology are consistent with respecting human rights. As experts confirm, the order has nothing to do with limiting human rights – related to transhumanism or anything else.
Our fact-check sources:
Samantha Reposa, Sept. 23, Email exchange with USA TODAY
Arthur Applbaum, Sept. 23, Email exchange with USA TODAY
Lawrence Gostin, Sept. 23-Sept. 25, Email exchange with USA TODAY
Britannica, accessed Sept. 26, transhumanism
Middleburg Institute of International Studies at Monterey, May 30, The New World Order: The Historical Origins of a Dangerous Modern Conspiracy Theory
United Nations, accessed Sept. 26, Crimes Against Humanity
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: False claim Biden's executive order limits human rights