Despite the failure of the Biden administration to give the World Health Organization (WHO) powers to impose a health emergency on any nation without consent, efforts to empower the WHO through regulatory overreach are continuing, said Alex Newman, an award-winning international journalist.
In January 2022, the Biden administration proposed 13 amendments to the International Health Regulations that would give the director-general of the WHO—a position currently held by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus—the unilateral authority to declare a public health emergency in any nation based on whatever evidence the director chooses.
The far-reaching amendments were put forward on the agenda of the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the WHO attended by delegations from all member states, which convened in late May. But the adoption of the amendments was stalled by the opposition of some African and South American governments, especially the Brazilian government, Newman said.
According to experts Newman interviewed, these amendments will be rolled into the international pandemic treaty that is being developed by the WHO and member governments. If this effort does not succeed, similar amendments will be resubmitted in September, when the next round of amendments to the WHO’s regulations is due, Newman said in a June 10 interview for EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program.
A draft of the proposed pandemic treaty is due by August, wrote Newman, a contributor to The Epoch Times.
For Newman, the very significant impact of the amendments, if they are adopted, is that the WHO’s director “would not need the consent of the nation, or the government being targeted, to declare a pandemic or a health emergency of international concern.
“This very clearly is an attack on the national sovereignty of nations and the ability of people to govern themselves,” he said.
According to the U.S. State Department and the WHO, the changes the World Health Assembly did approve were the shortening of the time period for implementing regulatory changes from two years to one year, and the approval of the creation of a new working group to draft and consider new amendments, Newman said.
Those two amendments will be considered first in November and then in the next WHO assembly, Newman continued. “[Mainstream] media presented this as kind of a first step in ultimately achieving the end goal of the Biden administration.”
Newman described the WHO as “incredibly opaque.”
“It is very, very difficult to find out exactly what happened [during the assembly meeting],” Newman said. He sourced the information about the outcome of the last WHO general meeting by directly contacting the U.S. State Department and WHO.
“Dr. Tedros and others have been very open about their desire to see vast new powers for the World Health Organization. They want to become the central coordinating mechanism for all international health issues,” Newman said. They also would like to have “the ability to sanction nations that don’t cooperate with the WHO agenda,” he added.
In his opening remarks to the WHO executive board at a meeting on Jan. 24, 2022, Tedros outlined the organization’s five priorities for the next five years.
“The fifth priority is to urgently strengthen WHO as the leading and directing authority on global health, at the center of the global health architecture,” he said.
The WHO established a focus group called the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, co-chaired by Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia.
The panel, according to its documents, calls for vast new powers for the WHO, Newman said.
“They want the WHO to have political and financial independence. That’s just another way of saying they don’t want national governments to be able to interfere with what’s going on there.”
According to this plan, the WHO would assume the role of the global health ministry for the entire planet, similar to the role that the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention perform in the United States, Newman explained.
Furthermore, the term “public health crisis” has been expanded to cover racism, climate change, and gun violence, Newman pointed out.
“If everything is a public health crisis and the WHO is the primary mechanism for dealing with health crises, then pretty much everything comes under the jurisdiction of the WHO.”
Newman said that in his opinion, treating these other issues as a public health crisis would be “the camel’s nose under the tent for very draconian controls over essentially every area of life.”
Opposition to WHO’s Overreach Mounts
The WHO’s meetings are not usually reported on by media, and very few people pay attention to them, yet the proposed amendments have met with significant opposition at the state and federal levels, Newman said.
“Multiple lawmakers and legal experts have pointed this out: this stuff is not constitutional. The federal government doesn’t have the authority to run your health care or determine what kind of policies need to be implemented on health care.”
The Constitution enumerates all legislative powers that are reserved for Congress, and health care policies are not among them, Newman said. The federal government does not have these powers themselves, so it cannot delegate those to other parties, be it the WHO or any other body, he added.
The Kansas Senate recently adopted a resolution that disapproves of the amendments to the WHO’s regulations, Newman said, adding that state lawmakers in Florida told him they would be willing to enact legislation preventing the state and local governments from enforcing any WHO mandates or recommendations.
“The amendments to the International Health Regulations of the WHO offered by the Biden administration … will ultimately hand over the United States’ national sovereignty and authority to the WHO and place our democratic nation in the control of an unelected international organization that is wholly unaccountable to the people of this country,” the resolution stated.
On the federal level, the House Freedom Caucus sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to stop empowering the WHO and resume President’s Donald Trump withdrawal from the organization, Newman said.
The letter also demanded that Biden provide the American people with “total transparency” on the negotiations of the global pandemic treaty and reminded the president that international treaties must be approved by two-thirds of Senate as required by the Constitution.
A similar letter was also sent to Biden by Republican Sens. Steve Daines of Montana and Tom Cotton of Arkansas.
Moreover, House Republicans introduced a bill co-sponsored by 58 representatives to defund the WHO, and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) proposed legislation preventing the WHO from controlling U.S. health policy, Newman said.
The measure introduced by Scott also opposes any changes to the WHO charter unless they are enacted by a joint resolution of both houses of Congress.
“The WHO’s radical ‘pandemic treaty’ is a dangerous globalist overreach,” Scott said in a statement. “We must quickly pass this bill to ensure that public health matters in the country remain in the hands of Americans.” He also said the WHO is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
Proponents of granting the WHO supranational powers over health policies are trying to “move quickly with this agenda before the opposition gains a critical mass,” Newman said.
He advised people who oppose these far-reaching powers to contact their elected state and federal officials and ask them to develop a solution to the WHO’s overreach.