SRH: I Will point out that both MO v. Holland and US v. Belmont rely on a previous case, Altman v. US. The US Supreme Court ruled in Altman that foreign executive agreements are treaties that do not require the advice and approval of the Senate as long as they are made under the authority of previously passed legislation and law.
In this scenario, the question is whether there is a US statute that gives the president the authority to reach this agreement with the WHO. This article attempts to imply that the administration may skirt Congress and do whatever it wants in this area, which is not the case.
The Senate must either ratify the proposed treaty or have previously passed legislation authorizing the President to enter into such agreements. Consequently, the voice of the people has a role in this conversation, and we must express our opposition to the Administration's move.
The Biden administration is poised to sign a "legally binding" agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) that would give this Geneva-based UN subsidiary the right to dictate America's policy in the event of a pandemic.
Despite considerable criticism of the WHO's reaction to the COVID epidemic, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced in September 2022 "the U.S.-WHO Strategic Dialogue" with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. They collaborated to create a "platform to maximize the longstanding US government-WHO cooperation and to preserve and promote the health of all people around the world, including Americans."
These and other debates resulted in the publication of a "zero draft" (pdf) of a pandemic treaty on February 1, which currently seeks ratification by all 194 WHO member states. The WHO's Intergovernmental Negotiating Board (INB) will convene on February 27 to finalize the agreements, which all members will subsequently sign.
The zero draft, written under the slogan of "the world united equally," gives the WHO the authority to declare and handle a worldwide pandemic emergency. When a health emergency is proclaimed, all signatories, including the United States, yield to the WHO's jurisdiction over treatments, government rules such as lockdowns and vaccine requirements, global supply chains, and population monitoring and surveillance.
Pandemic Response Center
"They want to see a centralized, vaccine-and-medication-based approach and a very restrictive response in terms of population control," said David Bell, a public health physician and former WHO staffer specialized in epidemic policy. "They get to decide what constitutes a health emergency, and they're putting in place a monitoring system to guarantee that there are potential emergencies to declare."
The WHO pandemic treaty is part of a two-pronged effort that coincides with the World Health Assembly's (WHA) intention to draft new global pandemic regulations that would also supersede member states' laws. The WHO is the organization's governing body, made up of delegates from its member countries.
"Both [initiatives] are catastrophically risky," said Francis Boyle, an international law professor at Illinois University, to The Epoch Times. "Any one or both would establish a global medical police state under the auspices of the WHO, namely WHO Director-General Tedros. If either or all of these pass muster, Tedros or his successor will be able to make instructions that will reach your primary care providers.
"If these guidelines go through as currently drafted, I, as a doctor, will be told what I am allowed to give a patient and what I am barred from providing a patient anytime the WHO declares a public health emergency," physician Meryl Nass told The Epoch Times. So they can tell you that you'll be getting remdesivir, but you won't be able to take hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin. What they're also saying is that they believe in equity, which implies that everyone on the planet gets vaccinated, whether or not they need it or are already immune."
In terms of medical treatments, the agreement calls for member countries to "monitor and regulate against inferior and fraudulent pandemic-related items." According to prior WHO and Biden administration policies, this would most likely include forcing people to take newly produced vaccines while prohibiting doctors from offering non-vaccine treatments or medicines.
America's Constitution is being violated.
The agreement raises the question of whether the Biden administration can bind America to treaties and accords without the permission of the United States Senate, as required by the Constitution. The zero draft acknowledges that, according to international law, treaties between countries must be ratified by national legislatures, thereby honoring their populations' right to agree. However, the draft also states that the agreement will enter into force on a "provisional" basis as soon as it is signed by WHO delegates, making it legally enforceable on members without being ratified by legislatures.
"Whoever drafted this section knew as much about US constitutional law and international law as I did and purposefully drafted it to avoid the Senate's jurisdiction to give its advice and approval to treaties, to provisionally bring it into force immediately upon signature," Boyle explained. Furthermore, "the Biden administration will take the position that this is an international executive agreement that the president can conclude on his own accord without Congressional approval and that is binding on the United States of America, including all democratically elected state and local officials, governors, attorneys general, and health officials."
Several U.S. Supreme Court decisions may back up the Biden administration on this. These include the case of State of Missouri v. Holland, in which the Supreme Court declared that treaties take precedence over state legislation. Other cases, such as United States v. Belmont, determined that executive agreements can be legally binding with the force of treaties even without Senate approval.
The WHO pandemic deal and a recent OECD global tax agreement, which the Biden administration signed but Republicans believe has "no route forward" to parliamentary approval, have parallels. Punitive terms are written into the OECD pact, allowing foreign governments to punish American companies if the treaty is not ratified by the US.
Like with the OECD tax deal, administration officials are attempting to use international bodies to impose ideas that Americans have rejected. Health care is the domain of the states, not the federal government, according to the United States Constitution. When courts concluded that government agencies lacked the jurisdiction to impose vaccine and mask mandates on Americans, the Biden administration saw this as an unpleasant barrier.
"To get over domestic opposition, they turned to the WHO for either the regulations or the treaty," Boyle explained.
Signatories would commit to "strengthen the capability and performance of national regulatory authorities and promote the harmonization of regulatory requirements at the international and regional levels," according to the initial draft. They will also execute a "whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach" at the national level, involving national, local, and private sector administrations.
According to the initial draft, this new agreement is required due to "the catastrophic failure of the world community to demonstrate solidarity and equity in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic."
The WHO's performance was described as a "toxic brew" of questionable judgments in a report by the WHO's Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparation and Response (pdf). Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, co-chair, told the BBC that it was due to "a slew of errors, gaps, and delays." Yet, the solutions offered in that study did not advocate for increased local autonomy or diverse decision-making, but rather for greater centralization, more power, and more money for the WHO.
Misleading Information and "One Health Surveillance"
The WHO pandemic agreement mandates that member countries undertake "One Health surveillance." The United Nations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Bank, and other global institutions have all endorsed the notion of One Health.
"The word originally indicated a method of viewing human and animal health as linked—which they sometimes are—in order to promote human health by acting more broadly," Bell explained. "It has been hijacked and is now used to claim that all human activities and biosphere concerns affect health and thus fall under the purview of public health. As a result, public health can be defined as climate, racism, or fisheries management, and this is being used to argue that tackling carbon emissions is a health issue and thus a health "emergency."
The WHO zero draft specifies that "'One Health Surveillance' means...", leaving the definition to future revisions. Whatever One Health surveillance eventually involves, signatories must invest in, implement, and "strengthen" it. The World Bank approved a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) in September 2022 to finance, among other things, One Health surveillance.
Signatories also undertake to uphold the government narrative when it comes to pandemic information. They will specifically "perform regular social listening and analysis to detect the prevalence and profiles of misinformation" and "create public communications and messaging strategies to address misinformation, disinformation, and false news, ultimately building public trust."
This is consistent with the Biden administration's efforts to "make sure social media companies are aware of the latest narratives dangerous to public health... and engage with them to better understand the enforcement of social media platform policies," as former White House Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki put it. "We own the science, and we think the world should know it," UN Undersecretary-General Melissa Fleming said at a 2022 World Economic Forum session on "Tackling Disinformation" in Davos.
During the COVID epidemic, the official narrative included support for lockdowns, school closures, and masking—all of which have now been shown to be ineffectual in slowing the virus's transmission and harmful to public health. In 2020, over 900,000 doctors, epidemiologists, and public health professionals signed the Great Barrington Declaration, expressing "grave worries about the detrimental physical and mental health implications of the current COVID-19 regulations." This statement was strongly condemned as hazardous misinformation and was blocked on social media.
"What they shattered were traditional public health perspectives," Bell explained. Until 2019, public health standards "explicitly stated that activities like lengthy border closures, closing stores, and so on were hazardous, particularly for low-income people, and should not be done for more than a few weeks."
Those who advocated for lockdowns "were pretty clear that what they were advocating for COVID would be exceedingly damaging and that the harm would outweigh the benefit," according to Bell. "They were clear because they wrote that down earlier, and there's nothing new in the premise that impoverishing people affects life expectancy. "Something significantly altered their minds, and that something wasn't evidence, so we can only presume that it was pressure from entrenched interests."
A study presented at the World Economic Forum in January indicated that popular faith in government has fallen since the outbreak began, yet delegates were unable to explain why. Instead, the panel discussion, dubbed "Disrupting Distrust," centered on countering renegade news sources that questioned the official narrative.
America's Participation in the World Health Organization
In July 2020, then-President Donald Trump resigned from the World Health Organization. Trump warned that due to the WHO's poor response to the COVID outbreak and its ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), US funding of around $500 million per year would be cut.
In response, then-presidential candidate Joseph Biden declared, "On my first day as President, I would rejoin the WHO and restore our leadership on the global arena." Biden followed his commitment and went much further by negotiating the pandemic agreement.
Today, Republican senators are attempting to resurrect the drive to withdraw the United States from the WHO. The "No Public Funding for the World Health Organization Act," sponsored by 16 House Republicans, was introduced on January 12.
"Funneling millions of taxpayer dollars to the corrupt World Health Organization that serves the Chinese Communist Party is a slap in the face to hardworking American families struggling under record high inflation and to all those whose lives and livelihoods were ruined and destroyed by the COVID pandemic," said Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.). "The WHO commended China for its "leadership" at the start of COVID-19, but has done little to hold the CCP accountable for the disease's spread."
A representative for Roy told The Epoch Times that the pandemic agreement is "simply another reason to defund the WHO."
Sovereignty and Human Rights Redefined
According to the agreement's zero draft, national sovereignty remains a priority, although within restrictions. "States have the sovereign right to determine and manage their approach to public health in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law," the draft states, "provided that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to their people or other countries."
Human rights are also emphasized in the agreement, which requires that "those living under any restrictions on freedom of movement, such as quarantines and isolations, have adequate access to medication, health services, and other necessities and rights." Human rights are defined in the pact as "health equity achieved through steadfast action on social, environmental, cultural, political, and economic determinants of health."
Countries such as Austria have gone so far as to penalize the refusal to take the COVID vaccine in accordance with this approach. In the United States, cities such as New York City required vaccine passports for entry to public venues, thereby segregating its citizens into a privileged vaccinated class and a second-tier unvaccinated class.
Others, on the other hand, consider human rights as individual rights, which include personal sovereignty, the ability of individuals to make their own choices, the right of people to have a voice in medical decisions that affect them, free expression, and freedom of movement and assembly.
Following WWII and the state-control ideologies of fascism, national socialism, and communist, "it was apparent that there has to be a fundamental understanding that individuals are sovereign," according to Bell. Human rights statements issued after the war highlighted that "we are born with rights, we are all equal, and those rights are inviolable," even in times of crisis. It is being watered down or wiped away in order to accomplish this.
"I think this is a much wider problem; it's about what kind of society we want to live in." Do we believe in equality, or in a feudal system in which a few individuals at the top dominate society and tell others what to do? That's the path we're taking.
The WHO, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the World Bank were contacted about this article but did not respond.
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