As negations move forward on an international pandemic treaty, Republican House members are pushing a bill that would check the pandemic powers of the World Health Organization.
U.S. Representatives Tom Tiffany (R-WI-07) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) joined a dozen of their Republican colleagues in introducing the No WHO Pandemic Preparedness Treaty Without Senate Approval Act. The legislation would require any convention or agreement born out of the WHO’s intergovernmental body and deemed a treaty to first receive the advice and consent of a supermajority of the U.S. Senate.
The World Health Organization has begun negotiations on a “global accord” on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, using the so-called “zero draft” as a basis for negotiating an agreement “to protect nations and communities from future pandemic emergencies.”
Negotiations on the draft will continue over the next year according to a timetable laid out by the World Health Assembly.
Tiffany said the United Nations-linked World Health Organization is a “corrupt organization that President Trump got us out of, but President Biden disgracefully rejoined.”
“The United States should be in charge of our own pandemic policy; we should never outsource that power to an international bureaucracy that behaves like a puppet of Communist China,” the Wisconsin congressman said.”This legislation puts congressional oversight and transparency into what otherwise could be bad medicine for America’s public health.”
The concern about the WHO grows even more intense after Biden’s Department of Energy and the FBI have said COVID-19 most likely originated from a lab leak in China. The WHO has in the past vigorously disputed those conclusions, praising China for its handling of the pandemic even as the communist nation has stymied a legitimate investigation into the origins of the virus.
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), who introduced identical legislation in the the Senate, said the WHO, along with U.S. federal health agencies “failed miserably” in their response to COVID-19, and should not be rewarded with a new international treaty that would increase the WHO’s power at the expense of American sovereignty.”
Fact checkers have insisted the preliminary draft of the WHO document reaffirms nations’ sovereign right to make their own health policies during global pandemics. Fact checkers, however, also previously declared as “disinformation” the likelihood that the pandemic originated from a lab leak in China.
Roland Driece, Netherlands, co-chair of the WHO’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Bureau, last week said the start of discussions of concrete language for the WHO pandemic accord “sends a clear signal that countries of the world want to work together for a safer, healthier future where we are better prepared for, and able to prevent future pandemic threats, and respond to them effectively and equitably.”
But Americans remain skeptical.
A new poll conducted by Morning Consult found 44 percent of respondents believed COVID-19 came from a lab in Wuhan, China, compared to 26 percent who said the virus occurred naturally, as China, the WHO, and top-ranking federal health officials have insisted.
After the Biden Administration’s failed COVID-19 response and the WHO’s mismanagement of the pandemic, Tiffany said, Americans aren’t keen on more infringements to their personal liberties.
“The legislation would provide more transparency in WHO agreements and a constitutional check on the administration,” the congressman’s press release states.
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.
Photo “Tom Tiffany” by Representative Tom Tiffany. Photo “Andy Biggs” by U.S. Congress. Background Photo “World Health Organization” by Yann Forget. CC BY-SA 3.0.