WHO’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Freedom
Wait, WHO’s grabbing power? Yes, they are. Flush off their unprecedented interference during the COVID pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) is acting to ensure they have even more power next time around. The Biden administration is helping to fast-track it. “The Biden administration is reportedly spearheading ... amendments to the international health regulations that would drastically increase the powers of the executive of the World Health Organization,” warned Michael Alexander of the World Council for Health. Under these new amendments, “the director general would have the right ... in conjunction with his internal staff ... to unilaterally declare a public health emergency in a member state without that state’s consent.”
WHO was already tampering with pandemic powers before COVID hit. The definition of a pandemic is “no longer tied to mortality figures,” said Alexander, “which makes things very loosey goosey and subjective.” Now the only figures who matter are those calling the shots. “Previously a pandemic was defined in terms of differences between mortality rates with the seasonal flue, which worldwide would mean 250,000 per year,” he explained, and “an actual public health emergency” meant “magnitudes of mortality beyond the annual seasonal flu.” Under the old system, if WHO tried to declare a pandemic where there wasn’t, it was simple to demonstrate their error by pointing to official statistics. But now, they can pretty much make “pandemic” mean whatever they want.
The power to define the terms might give WHO authority equal to any national government, but still, under the current system, “if a member state disagrees ... [with WHO director general declaring] an epidemic in [its] borders, [they] can say, ‘we don’t agree with you,’ and the matter comes to an end,” Alexander explained. “Under these new regulations ... the director general can tell the entire world ... that, for instance, the United States is ignoring the public health warnings,” which could lead to “tremendous international pressure.” Imagine if global bureaucrats, unrestrained by the Constitution, wanted a vaccine mandate as badly as Joe Biden, and could force our major trading partners to sanction U.S. until we complied.
“They wouldn’t be able to force [a country to accept its decisions], but they’d be able to use any means of coercion that they could against a country,” warned Alexander. Such extensive power could dramatically reorient a nation’s domestic balance of power. In a country like the United States, where power is divided and carefully balanced among federal and state governments, and among their separate branches, the interference of international bodies can only serve to take power away from the people, and augment the reach of the national executive.
WHO’s international health regulations are, “in effect, a treaty, but they were never considered by the Senate.… In effect, the president can ratify an international agreement and incorporate it into domestic law. That’s what happened with the regulations to begin with,” explained Alexander. “They’re trying to ... run around the House and the Senate.”
But the regulations are “just the prelude to what they’re really working toward, which is a new WHO treaty,” Alexander warned. “The treaty is really the bomb that they are trying to drop on the world.” It “would transfer power from domestic governments to WHO, such that WHO could declare, for instance, ‘the United States has a pandemic.’ And the United States would have to put up with that.” Such a treaty would have to be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate and agreed to by the president.
But if recent experience is any guide, WHO’s leadership is worse than useless in a crisis. They began the COVID pandemic by “giving cover to the Chinese Communist Party and then sitting on their hands,” said FRC President Tony Perkins. “The Trump administration was wanting to defund them and move America out of participation ... because they were so bad.” In two years, they have done nothing to rebuild confidence in this “global accord” (recent events have only proven no such thing exists). Yet now, the Biden administration wants to outsource to them the job of governing. “All of Western civilization has seen this quote-unquote ‘pandemic’ being used to limit certain freedoms — freedom of speech, freedom of religion,” warned Perkins. Entrusting these rights to an unaccountable, international body is even more hazardous, because “our values seem to be a lot different than the rest of the world.”
“The first stage in the power transfer,” which would culminate in the proposed pandemic treaty, are amendments to the international health regulations, which the World Health Assembly will debate beginning May 22. “Take your stand against this,” Alexander urged. “Now is the time to be lobbying your representatives ... because many people in government are not aware of what’s going on.” The World Council for Health has open letters to WHO which you can download and send to your representatives, or circulate to your friends. Perkins reinforced his call to action, “our republic was made not for spectators, but participants.”
Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.