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Coalition of 22 State AGs Call on Biden to Reject Treaty Drastically Expanding WHO Authority

A coalition of 22 state attorneys general have sent a letter to Joe Biden voicing their opposition to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) proposed pandemic treaty and amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR).

Attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia, led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, raised concerns that the proposed agreement threatens U.S. sovereignty by giving the WHO “unprecedented and unconstitutional powers over the people of the United States.”

Critics say that the proposed “pandemic accord” and IHR amendments would give the WHO sweeping new powers over national governments and public health authorities in the event of a new pandemic, and would help set up a global system of “digital health passports.”

In a press release Wednesday, Knudsen asserted that the proposed amendments would give the organization “authority over United States public health policy after failing to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its lies during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Knudsen warned that “if the agreements are approved, the WHO would transform from an advisory, charitable organization to the world’s governor of public health.”

“Ultimately, the goal of these instruments isn’t to protect public health. It’s to cede authority to the WHO — specifically its Director-General—to restrict our citizens’ rights to freedom of speech, privacy, movement (especially travel across borders) and informed consent,” the AGs wrote in the letter. “We therefore oppose such accords for several important reasons.”

First, the two proposed instruments would transform the WHO from an advisory, charitable organization into the world’s governor of public health. The WHO currently lacks authority to enforce its recommendations. Under proposed IHR amendments and the Pandemic Treaty, however, the WHO’s Director-General would achieve the power to unilaterally declare a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC) in one or more member nations. Such declarations can include perceived or potential emergencies other than pandemics, including climate change, immigration, gun violence, or even “emergencies” involving plants, animals, or ecosystems. The more egregious versions of the proposals would authorize the Director-General to dictate what must be done in response to a declared PHEIC. In other words, America’s elected representatives would no longer set the nation’s public health policies. Even watered down, these proposals would inappropriately cede American sovereignty to the WHO.

Second, the federal government cannot delegate public health decisions to an international body. The U.S. Constitution doesn’t vest responsibility for public health policy with the federal government. It reserves those powers for the States. Even if the federal government had such power, Article II, Section 2 requires approval by the United States Senate.

Third, the proposed IHR amendments and the Pandemic Treaty would lay the groundwork for a global surveillance infrastructure, ostensibly in the interest of public health, but with the inherent opportunity for control (as with Communist China’s “social credit system”). The current draft instructs signatories to “cooperate, in accordance with national law, in preventing misinformation and disinformation.” This is particularly dangerous given that your administration pressured and encouraged social-media companies to suppress free speech during COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed fundamental flaws with the WHO and other public health institutions. These entities breached public trust and are unquestionably in need of reform. The proposed measures, however, would only exacerbate the WHO’s underlying problems and enable more civil liberties violations during future “emergencies.” Accordingly, we will resist any attempt to enable the WHO to directly or indirectly set public policy for our citizens,” the letter concluded.

 

 

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: This photo taken 17 May 2004 shows the assembly of the World Health Organization in Geneva, during the opening of the 57-th annual meeting. AFP PHOTO JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT (Photo credit should read JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP via Getty Images)