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Fred Sinclair Column: Who is the W.H.O. and what is HR 79?

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Read about proposed changes to the WHO Pandemic Treaty and International Health Regulations

by Frederick Sinclair

The US House of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee, is considering  legislation (HR79) that would require the President to immediately withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization (WHO); prohibit using any federal funds for US participation in the organization; and repeal the 1948 act authorizing the US to join the WHO. Congressman Andy Briggs from  Arizona  introduced the legislation and 49 co-sponsors have signed on to the bill.

Membership in the WHO is considered a Treaty, making the WHO Constitution and  its’ International Health Regulations (IHR 2005)  binding to its’ members. It is a ‘Treaty in Force’. US membership in WHO was ratified in 1948 by a joint resolution of Congress, which carries the legal weight of a 2/3 majority of the Senate.  Article VI of the US Constitution states “Treaties shall become supreme Law of the Land.” Article 5 of the US ratified 1969 Vienna Convention further defines the relationship by clearly stating “Instruments adopted by international organizations, according to their internal rules, are Treaties.”

US Supreme Court decisions, decades ago, decided that a treaty can override our 10 th Amendment which assures states’ rights; that a treaty can empower the President to make international compacts that override states’ rights; and that state inconsistency or impairment with an international compact or agreement can be disallowed by the federal government.

The group of 194 countries who are WHO members have benefited from research and recommendations that this general policy-making body has provided the world in response to myriad health concerns. The International Health Regulations, however, attached to the proposed Pandemic Treaty, are under revision and there are widely varying opinions as to whether member countries will be coerced to obey WHO pandemic response recommendations. We do know that draft wording includes the removal of the phrase “with full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons” in (Article 3) and changes “recommendations” to requirements.

The proposed  ‘Pandemic Treaty’ suggests implementation of a  ‘World Health Approach’ that  could require all member countries to perform both biological and informational surveillance and may result in censorship of any information that counters the WHO position. The head of the WHO recently spoke at the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos and spoke of the need for world-wide health identification cards, vaccination passports and strict control of public information and media.

Proposed changes to the WHO Pandemic Treaty and International Health Regulations include WHO policy enforcement provisions via the proposed creation of an Implementation and Compliance Committee. Here in the US, newly passed federal legislation is tied to and financed under the current National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) sect.5561. This legislation enhances the US international response to pandemics within the Department of Defense budget. All US government agencies are directed to comply with and adhere to any relevant frameworks that contribute to global health security and the stage is set for compliance with the proposed WHO agenda in whatever final form the treaty may take.

The current US administration is contributing to the framing of the draft WHO treaty  and appears to be supportive of a more powerful WHO. Many fear WHO edicts may have the power to override constitutional protections and local priorities.  Some of the initial Pandemic Treaty proposals drafted have been seen by a growing number of elected leaders and citizens as a threat to national and state sovereignty as well as individual rights. This has led to an air of distrust in the process and where it might end up. As it stands, each WHO member country, regardless of size or monetary contribution to the organization, or the level of humanitarian concern exhibited by their leaders, will have an equal vote on the WHO proposed treaty and a simple majority of those present at a upcoming meeting in Geneva will be binding for the entire membership.

The United States contributed nearly 800 million dollars to the WHO in 2022. It behooves all of us to investigate the effectiveness of WHO as an organization and to learn about any hidden influences that are at play, in the making of a global health treaty, that could take critical health decisions out of the hands of the member countries. And it is also important for each of us to stay abreast of the developing WHO Pandemic Treaty, to protect our personal health freedoms and  to effectively voice our opinions about HR79 to our elected officials.

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