Home » Republican States Push Back on WHO’s Global Health Authority Overreach

Republican States Push Back on WHO’s Global Health Authority Overreach

by Richard A Reagan

Republican governors across the United States have joined forces to oppose proposals that would significantly increase the World Health Organization’s (WHO) authority over U.S. health policies

These proposals, currently under negotiation and backed by the Biden administration, are seen as a direct threat to national sovereignty and state autonomy in health-related decisions.

Leading the charge are twenty-four GOP governors who have openly criticized the proposed changes to the WHO’s member agreements. According to these governors, the amendments would transform the WHO from an advisory entity into a global health authority with unprecedented powers. 

The most contentious point is the proposal that would allow the WHO’s Director-General to unilaterally declare a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ (PHEIC) and dictate the response measures in member nations, potentially overriding local governance.

In their joint letter to President Joe Biden, the governors argued that such changes would “erode state sovereignty” and “strip elected representatives of their role in setting public health policies.” 

This could lead to enforced compliance with WHO directives on U.S. citizens, including possible mandates on medical treatments, a scenario the governors find unacceptable.

Supporting this state-level initiative, all 49 Republican senators have also sent a letter to President Biden urging him to reject these international agreements. Echoing the concerns of the governors, the senators highlighted the risks these agreements pose to the principles of democratic accountability and local control over public health decisions.

Adding legal muscle to the opposition, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has taken the battle to the courts. 

Paxton filed a lawsuit aimed at preventing the Biden administration from agreeing to the WHO’s proposed changes. “The authority to control health decisions should unequivocally remain within individual states, not handed over to an international body,” Paxton stated during an appearance on the Just the News, No Noise TV show.

Critics of the WHO, including these Republican leaders, argue that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed significant flaws in the organization’s structure and response capability. 

Rather than expanding its power, they advocate for a reformation of the body to prevent the recurrence of the mishandling witnessed during the global crisis.

The WHO has defended its proposed changes as necessary reforms to ensure a more effective global response to future health emergencies. 

“During more than two years of intensive negotiations, WHO’s Member States have shown unwavering commitment to forging a generational agreement to protect the world from a repeat of the horrors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press release.

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