Lawmakers, experts warn WHO pandemic treaty pushed by Biden threatens US sovereignty 

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News

 

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus has set a May deadline for the U.S. and other wealthy nations to sign a pandemic agreement in preparation for “Disease X.” Ghebreyesus used the term at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos last month as a “placeholder” for an unknown future pandemic that he said will be 20 times deadlier than COVID-19.

Tedros referred to COVID-19 as the “first” Disease X and said millions of deaths could have been avoided if there had only been an international management system in place. Tedros suggested that global preparedness responses could include things like organizing supply chains, developing early warning systems, and improving contract tracing, according to a Fox News report

“It’s better to anticipate something that may happen because it has happened in our history many times, and prepare for it,” Tedros said. “We should not face things unprepared; we can prepare for some unknown things, as well.” 

World leaders met in March 2021 to announce that a pandemic treaty was in the works.  

“The main goal of this treaty would be to foster an all-of-government and all-of-society approach, strengthening national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics,” said a statement signed by two dozen heads of state, according to a Fox News report

TREATY CALLS ON NATIONS TO COUNTERACT CONSERVATIVE OPPOSITION

The first draft of the “WHO Pandemic Treaty” was released in December 2022. However, the Biden administration pointed out that, under the U.S. Constitution, the Senate must ratify all treaties, which could potentially prove problematic. As such, the document was rechristened as the “WHO Pandemic Agreement” in the negotiating text released the following October. 

Under the agreement, the U.S. would be required to give WHO “a minimum of 20%” of all “pandemic-related products,” such as vaccines and personal protective equipment, as reported by The Washington Stand. Article 3:2 allows nations to retain sovereignty over their public health systems, provided that policies are made “in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the general principles of international law.” 

Article 34:2 of the treaty would force the U.S. to allow disputes to be settled either by arbitration mediated by the WHO or, if that fails, by the International Court of Justice at the Hague.

The agreement’s requirement that the U.S. commit to “national” pandemic policies would essentially eliminate the power of individual states to reject mandates imposed by national and international health organizations.

Washington Stand editor and senior writer Ben Johnson explained: “In its own words, the World Health Organization exists ‘to dispel the temptations of isolationism and nationalism.’” He added that the pandemic treaty “naturally follows from its globalist mindset.”

WHO: ABORTION IS AN ‘ESSENTIAL SERVICE’

Johnson went on to point out that what the agreement doesn’t address directly is equally as concerning as what it does. 

“Although it is not mentioned in the pandemic agreement, it is vital to understand that WHO considers abortion an essential service,” he wrote. Johnson pointed out that in March 2022, WHO released a new “Abortion care guideline” declaring that abortion service must continue, even amid a global health crisis. 

The guidelines state: “In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic … WHO has included comprehensive abortion care in the list of essential health services.” 

Johnson also pointed out that WHO released a 2024 bulletin calling on member nations to “counteract conservative opposition” and “repeal laws that criminalize homosexuality, sex work and HIV transmission.” The document titled “Advancing the ‘sexual’ in sexual and reproductive health and rights: a global health, gender equality and human rights imperative” was co-written by Ghebreyesus.

HERITAGE FOUNDATION: CHINA GIVEN PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT

Earlier this month, The Heritage Foundation published an article listing the “fatal flaws” of the pandemic treaty. The D.C.-based conservative think tank noted that the majority of the text of the treaty “focuses on mandating resource transfers to developing-country health systems, weakening intellectual property rights, and encouraging technology transfer and geographically distributed production as directed by the WHO.”

The article also pointed out that the agreement includes “unspecified costs” and preferential treatment for developing nations, including China.

Moreover, it fails to proffer remedies for “shortcomings revealed by COVID-19, such as China’s refusal to allow inspection teams timely entry to its lab in Wuhan,” according to the foundation.

REPUBLICANS PUSH FOR TRANSPARENCY 

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) in May 2022 introduced legislation to protect American sovereignty over its health systems.

The No WHO Pandemic Preparedness Treaty Without Senate Approval Act would require any agreement produced by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body to be submitted to the Senate as a treaty to ensure transparency in WHO agreements and serve as a constitutional check on the administration. 

 “The WHO, along with our federal health agencies, failed miserably in its response to COVID-19,” Johnson wrote in a press release. “Its failure should not be rewarded with a new international treaty that would increase its power at the expense of American sovereignty,” which, he said, “is not negotiable.”

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), one of 15 co-sponsors of the proposed legislation, said, “Actions by the WHO over the past two years, particularly in terms of the pandemic and abortion, raise serious questions about whether it operates as a truly independent body that ultimately benefits the American people.”

‘TERRIBLE JUDGMENT’

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) pressed Secretary of State Antony Blinken about Biden’s push to sign onto the treaty during a March 2023 House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. 

Smith said that the treaty “pays lip service to sovereignty” and suggested that a binding agreement that forces the U.S. to hand over “20 percent of our medical supplies” to the WHO does not benefit Americans.

Blinken did not directly address Smith’s concerns but instead said that the Biden administration is “not engaged in negotiating a COVID treaty. What we are engaged in is trying to strengthen the global architecture for dealing with pandemics.”

Smith responded: “We’re talking about Director-General Tedros, a man [who’s] been put in that position by the People’s Republic of China and obviously showed terrible, terrible judgment in the beginning and even to this day in recognizing the origins of COVID-19.”

In May 2020, Der Spiegel, a German weekly magazine, reported that Tedros privately expressed concerns that the spread of the novel coronavirus likely resulted from a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The report claimed that Tedros and other WHO officials deliberately delayed providing critical information to other countries about the deadly outbreak after being pressured by Chinese President Xi Jinping to withhold the information. Tedros called the accusation an “outright lie,” according to a Daily Wire report.

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