US Governors Demand Global Health Organization Reform Amid Pandemic

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US Governors Demand Global Health Organization
US Governors Demand Global Health Organization. Credit | REUTERS

United States: In a letter to President Biden this week, twenty-six Republican governors stated that they do not want the World Health Organization (WHO) to make decisions in the event of another worldwide pandemic.

WHO’s Expanded Authority Opposed

The Republican Governors Association claims that two ideas are being discussed that would give WHO “unprecedented and unconstitutional” authority in the United States.

“If adopted, these agreements would seek to elevate the WHO from an advisory body to a global authority in public health,” said the letter. “Under the proposed amendments and treaty, the WHO’s Director-General would supposedly gain unilateral power to declare a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ in member nations, extending beyond pandemics to include a range of perceived emergencies.”

The two proposals seek to create a new “Pandemic Agreement” Treaty and modify the WHO’s current International Health Regulations.

Critique of Proposed Agreements

“Additional concerns arise regarding the establishment of a global surveillance infrastructure and requirements for member states to censor speech related to public health, potentially facilitating the proliferation of biological weapons,” the governors said. “We are committed to resisting any attempts to transfer authority to the WHO over public policy affecting our citizens or any efforts by the WHO to assert such authority over them.”

Resistance to Authority Transfer

World Health Organization (WHO). Credit | REUTERS

Among those who signed were governors Jim Justice of West Virginia, Eric Holcomb of Indiana, Eric DeSantis of Florida, Kay Ivey of Alabama, Mike Dunleavy of Alaska, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Bill Lee of Tennessee, and Kim Reynolds of Iowa.

Signatories to the letter were the governors of the following countries North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming; Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Texas.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., led the Republican Senate conference earlier this month in urging President Biden to veto accords that would give the WHO more power in the event of a worldwide epidemic.

WHA Meeting and Biden’s Stance

There will be a World Health Assembly( WHA) from May 27 to June 1, during which time transnational agreements are anticipated to be bandied.

The WHO’s decision- making body, the WHA, convenes once a time to establish objects and formulate programs among its 194 member countries.

The Biden administration has pledged to strengthen transnational cooperation in the fight against afflictions, but it has also expressed disapprobation of certain aspects of the proposed WHO pact. Politico revealed in January that officers have specifically thrown cold water on agreements that don’t adequately cover pharmaceutical pots’ patents.

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