The United States should never participate in any treaty that undermines its sovereignty and freedom to act in a time of crisis. Yet that’s exactly what the Biden administration is attempting to do through a new agreement with the World Health Organization.
On Feb. 1, the World Health Organization (WHO), which fumbled its response to the Covid-19 pandemic with deadly consequences, released a “zero draft” of its “WHO CA+” treaty, a proposed agreement under consideration by the United States and other WHO member states that seeks to grow the international body’s power and influence in handling future pandemics. While the draft treaty doesn’t give the WHO direct authority over countries’ domestic pandemic policies, it contains numerous ruinous provisions that would push nations to adopt an authoritarian, globalist mindset for handling future disease outbreaks.
In response to the Biden administration’s consideration of the agreement, Senate Republicans, led by Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, have introduced the No WHO Pandemic Preparedness Treaty Without Senate Approval Act. It would mandate that “any convention or agreement” produced by the WHO’s intergovernmental negotiating body be “deemed a treaty” and require approval from a supermajority of the U.S. Senate.
“The WHO, along with our federal health agencies, failed miserably in their response to Covid-19. This failure should not be rewarded with a new international treaty that would increase the WHO’s power at the expense of American sovereignty,” Johnson said.
The bill comes amid concerns that President Joe Biden will attempt to bypass the traditional Senate-approval process for treaties in order to commit the United States to the WHO agreement. Such evasion was prominent during the tenure of President Barack Obama, who entered the U.S. into international arrangements, such as the Paris Climate Accord and the Iran nuclear deal, without lawful Senate approval.
Obsession with Equity
Among the more concerning aspects of the proposed treaty is the WHO’s obsession with so-called “equity.” A core tenet of modern Marxism, equity is a euphemism leftists regularly employ to dismiss merit and effective policies in favor of discrimination based on skin color and other immutable characteristics.
Within the document’s first 10 pages, the WHO presses signatories to agree that “equity” should be “a principle, an indicator and an outcome of pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.” The WHO also lists equity as a core “guiding principle” and a “right.”
But WHO’s equity obsession doesn’t stop there. According to The Heritage Foundation, the WHO CA+ in its current form would substantially expand the international body’s authority to “declare a pandemic and, thereby, trigger provisions in the treaty that would reallocate resources and encourage governments to waive intellectual property rights.”
Chief among those provisions is a proposal to give the WHO “real-time access” to 20 percent of all “pandemic-related products” produced by participating nations to facilitate so-called “equitable distribution” to primarily “developing countries.” This would include products such as vaccines, therapeutics, and personal protective equipment. According to the proposed agreement, half of the 20 percent would be given to the WHO as a donation, while the remainder would be sold to the organization “at affordable prices.”
War Against Free Speech
In addition to promoting equity, the WHO CA+ would pressure member states to participate in the ongoing war against free speech. In Article 17 of the proposed agreement, the WHO stipulates that participating countries must tackle so-called “false, misleading, misinformation or disinformation.”
To accomplish this, the international body pushes member states to “conduct regular social listening and analysis to identify the prevalence and profiles” of supposed “misinformation.” National governments would use the data collected from such analyses to “design communications and messaging strategies for the public” to “counteract” so-called “disinformation and false news.”
That proposal closely mirrors the actions of federal bureaucrats and later the Biden administration, which, throughout the Covid pandemic, attempted to discredit and silence doctors, intellectuals, and public figures who questioned the administration’s false narratives about the efficacy of lockdowns, therapeutics, masks, natural immunity, and Covid jabs. As evidenced by an ongoing attorneys general investigation, those suppression efforts included collusion with Big Tech to censor Covid-related posts the administration deemed “misinformation.”
A Handout to Red China
Advancing neo-Marxist ideology isn’t the only alarming aspect of the WHO draft treaty, however. Rather than punish China’s communist government for stonewalling efforts to uncover the origins of Covid, the WHO CA+ would do the exact opposite.
In its current form, the document endorses the idea of “common but differentiated responsibilities,” among member states, meaning “developed” nations, such as the United States and major European powers, would front the majority of costs for pandemics over “developing” countries. As Heritage noted, China, despite “having the second-largest economy in the world,” is still considered a developing country by the United Nations and would seek to capitalize on the agreement’s proposed framework.
Being classified as a developing country “means that China will likely be a beneficiary of WHO CA+ obligations for parties to, among other provisions, incentivize transfer of technology and know-how to developing countries, support waiving intellectual property rights to grant the use of intellectual property and other ‘protected substances, products, technology, know-how, information and knowledge’ to developing countries,” the Heritage report reads. “Beijing already engages in theft of intellectual property on health technology. This agreement will provide legal cover, especially if it can be linked to pandemic preparedness.”
These perks aren’t surprising given how the WHO acted as China’s puppet during the Covid outbreak. On Jan. 14, 2020, for instance, the WHO released a tweet regurgitating false claims from the Chinese government that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission” of Covid.
The organization’s willingness to take Beijing at its word continued later that month during WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ trip to China. After the visit, the WHO released a statement in which Tedros openly praised the Chinese government and risibly thanked its officials for the supposed “transparency they have demonstrated” in uncovering the origins of the viral outbreak.