Friday , June 21 2024

Reform the WHO

This article was first published here.

With little fanfare, global health elites narrowly missed passing into law a new treaty paving the way for more lockdowns, mask mandates and compulsory vaccinations.

The “pandemic preparedness treaty,” written by the World Health Organization, was part of a prolonged effort to make international health policy more coordinated and streamlined — but that efficiency comes at the expense of democracy and freedom. The treaty has stalled for now, but the determined health lobby won’t give up easily and is already pursuing its goal by other means.

While the treaty did not directly give the World Health Organization (WHO) the right to impose lockdowns in the U.S., it would have laid down a legal framework signing over huge new powers to the WHO and setting a precedent that national sovereignty is less important than the whims of health elites at WHO meetings. It is easy to imagine how this could evolve into full-scale remote control of U.S. health policymaking by the WHO, especially if the Biden administration sticks around for four more years.

Now, the WHO is looking to replace its failed treaty with changes to its “international health regulations,” which amounts to the same thing: the WHO assuming control of policymaking on health matters. The WHO, which counts Dr. Fauci among its key allies, has spent the past few years scrambling to convince politicians from dozens of countries to sign away their right to govern, giving it a blank check to overpower elected governments and impose its preferred health policies from the top down. Given the appetite among politicians internationally for closer WHO cooperation, the attempt looks set to succeed — one way or the other.

Global organizations like the WHO have always been power-hungry, but in recent years they have gone into overdrive. Ever since the coronavirus emerged, the WHO has been issuing diktats to governments around the world. Too often, weak-willed politicians kowtow and do what the WHO tells them, such as ordering lockdowns, even when they harm ordinary, hardworking citizens.

Thanks to the proposed new rules, if there is another novel virus — or, indeed, anything the WHO designates a “health emergency” — it will be the WHO itself calling the shots, not elected governments. Members of the WHO are not elected. They are unaccountable for their decisions. They can do an awful job time and again and know they will never have to face voters at the ballot box. That makes them dangerous.

The WHO’s top dog is an African politician called Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He is not a medical doctor, but he goes by “Dr. Tedros.” Dr. Tedros is from Ethiopia, but as many commentators have noticed in recent years, his strongest alliance appears to be with China.

China has considerable influence in Africa and Asia because of its economic might. Behind the closed doors of WHO meetings, China is by far the most powerful player — despite the U.S. giving considerably more funding to the WHO. Dr. Tedros himself has alarming links with Beijing. He has consistently taken controversial decisions which help the Chinese Communist Party.

When Taiwan asked to join the WHO, he did China’s bidding and slammed the door on them. He granted a seat on the WHO’s executive board to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, who is a friend of China. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, he was widely criticized for being weak on China, lavishly praising their lockdowns instead of pushing for them to release important scientific information about the virus for the rest of the world to see.

The WHO has become political. That’s a shame, because once upon a time, it did genuinely important work. Decades ago, the WHO was instrumental in tackling communicable diseases like cholera, smallpox, and typhoid. Today, it seems much more concerned with accumulating political power and creating absurd lifestyle regulations.

Make no mistake. The proposed new regulations are not the end of the WHO’s extraordinary power grab. They are only the beginning. Dr. Abdullah Assiri, a top doctor from Saudi Arabia, is a big name at the WHO. In a public address, he let the cat out of the bag when he said the WHO plans on “prioritizing actions that may restrict individual liberties,” because that’s “necessary during a pandemic.”

In other words, doctors at the WHO make no apology for the way COVID-19 was handled. In fact, they think the response did not go far enough, so they are demanding more authority to impose yet more restrictions next time. Amazingly, American politicians, joined by others from around the world, look set to give them that power by signing onto the new regulations at the upcoming World Health Assembly, the WHO’s annual meeting. That meeting could mark the beginning of the end for American civil liberties.

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