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Editor’s note: This is part one of a two-part series on how the World Health Organization’s proposed pandemic treaty and amendments to the International Health Regulations could strip nations and people of their health decision-making sovereignty.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Health Assembly (WHA) will convene May 21-30 in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the proposed “pandemic treaty” and amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR).
Many analysts have warned that the ratification of either or both of these instruments would diminish or completely strip away sovereignty from nation-states and place public health decision-making power in the hands of the WHO and its director-general.
Details around how this might happen in the U.S., however, are difficult to pinpoint — partly because of the secrecy surrounding negotiations and partly because of the complex combination of domestic and international law that would have to come into play in order to strip U.S. sovereignty.
“If these amendments and if this pandemic treaty are passed, then that would basically be the end of our national sovereignty,” said lawyer Reggie Littlejohn, co-founder of the Sovereignty Coalition, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers and co-chair of the Stop Vaccine Passports Task Force.
Francis Boyle, J.D., Ph.D., professor of international law at the University of Illinois and a bioweapons expert who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, agreed. He described the WHO’s proposed instruments as “an attempt to take over the United States of America by using the WHO as a front for that purpose.”
“This is being backed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bill Gates, the Chinese communist dictatorship, Big Pharma and the biowarfare industry,” Boyle said.
Boyle said there’s been so much opposition to the dictates coming out of Washington over the handling of the pandemic “that these elites have decided to go to the WHO and use the WHO as a front organization to accomplish its objectives.”
Author and podcast host Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, named some other key actors supporting the WHO proposals. He said:
“It’s a little unclear how this is going to play out, but it seems the folks who are bringing this to us, not just the WHO but the Chinese Community Party, Bill Gates, Big Pharma and the World Economic Forum — and not least of course, the U.S. government — are determined to try to jam the thing through, preferably without anybody really knowing that it’s going on, let alone what the implications of it are going to be for our country and for freedom-loving people around the world.”
Boyle, who has studied treaties going back to the First Hague Peace Conference of 1899, said the pandemic treaty “will automatically come into effect immediately upon its signature,” adding that he knows of no such treaty in existence today that does this.
“You will have a medical global police state issuing orders all the way down here in the United States,” Boyle said, “contravening state local health authorities, your governor, your local attorney general, your local surgeon general, and contravening all your democratically elected officials to accomplish this.”
The IHR amendments will deliver the same result via different means, and “will give these totalitarian dictatorial powers to Dr. Tedros [WHO director-general],” Boyle said.
Independent journalist and researcher James Roguski said one way this erosion of sovereignty will be accomplished is through the power of the purse. He said:
“I have dug up previously in the Foreign Affairs Manual of the United States that any treaty negotiations have to take into account the budgetary requirements of the agreement … They’re supposed to be consulting with Congress about that.
“And so, it has to be implemented into law to fund it. And if you’re agreeing to spend billions of dollars, that’s essentially taking away the right of the people to decide through Congress how money is spent. That seems to be an attack on sovereignty over how you spend your money.”
According to Littlejohn, “If you put these two instruments together … what you end up with is the establishment of a global biomedical totalitarian surveillance state. And it works in a number of ways.”
According to the most recent draft of the IHR amendments, Littlejohn said, “They want to strike the word ‘non-binding,’ so that the IHR would become binding and the WHO would go from being an advisory body to a regulatory body.”
The proposal to remove the term “non-binding” came from Bangladesh, Littlejohn said, adding that there is “language in the IHR amendments that allows the WHO to step in and take power even without declaring a pandemic or a public health emergency. It just has to be a potential public health risk.”
Roguski said the EU proposed this provision, which refers to the recognition of a potential “pandemic situation” as opposed to an actual pandemic.
Littlejohn also cited provisions of the pandemic treaty (page 23, article 17), allowing the WHO “to tackle false, misleading misinformation or disinformation” in the name of strengthening pandemic or public health literacy.
“[In subsection B], it says that the parties … agree to conduct regular social listening and analysis to identify the prevalence and profiles of misinformation … So, this is surveillance and censorship that’s being set up in the treaty,” she added.
Writing for The Daily Sceptic, Dr. David Bell, a public health physician and biotech consultant and former director of global health technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund, said the two proposed WHO instruments “aim to undo centuries of democratic reform that based sovereignty with individuals, and by extension their state.”
An ‘end run’ around state and local control?
It’s not clear exactly how the proposed pandemic treaty and IHR amendments will be used to supersede U.S. domestic law, according to Boyle. But he said it likely will be accomplished through a combination of several domestic laws, documents, legal provisions and court rulings.
The first of these documents is a joint resolution by both houses of Congress authorizing the U.S. to join the WHO, Boyle said, explaining that a joint resolution of Congress is just like a statute. “After the joint resolution was ratified, President Truman signed the WHO Constitution and it was sent into the depositary,” Boyle said.
What this means, according to Boyle, is that “the WHO Constitution … is just like a treaty that has received the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate and is the supreme law of the land under Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution … so it didn’t really matter that the Senate did not give its advice and consent by a two-thirds vote.”
Article 19 of the WHO Constitution gives the WHA the authority to adopt conventions or agreements — such as the pandemic treaty — by a two-thirds vote,” Boyle said.
Because there isn’t a quorum requirement in the WHA, “It could be a very small number of states that actually show up,” Boyle said. As a result, “the chair of the WHA … could get up and say, ‘I move for it to be adopted by consensus if no one dissents,’ and that’s that.”
The WHO Constitution circumvents the U.S. Congress via its provision that any treaty “can provisionally come into force after approval by the WHA,” Boyle said.
According to Boyle, the pandemic treaty violates the WHO and U.S. Constitutions and also “normal practice under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties,” an international agreement governing treaties between states, which he said, “does not provide for treaties to provisionally come into force after they are signed or approved.”
Littlejohn noted that not only can any treaty “provisionally come into force” after WHA approval, but portions of treaties or agreements also can. As a result, “in whole or in part, the pandemic treaty can be applied provisionally … it’s possible that certain parts of the treaty” might be passed this month and could be brought to force provisionally.
Malaysia proposed a change to Article 42 of the IHR amendments, saying that recommendations have to be implemented “as soon as possible,” Boyle said. As a result, “If you have to implement recommendations, they’ve suddenly become binding. That gives up sovereignty and freedoms all over the place.”
Another document that can be used to strip the U.S. of its sovereignty is the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 (NDAA), Boyle said. This law includes language “to facilitate national capacity to comply with and adhere to … other relevant frameworks that contribute to global health security.”
“The Biden administration can take the position that because of the NDAA of 2023, it can simply go right ahead and provisionally adhere to the terms of the pandemic treaty without the advice and consent of the Senate,” Boyle said. “The moment it gets reported out of the WHA, Biden can say ‘I’m invoking the NDAA’ to comply with and adhere to ‘other relevant frameworks that contribute to global health security.’”
According to Littlejohn, the language stating that the U.S. is “obligated to comply with and adhere to any relevant framework that contributes to global health security” likely includes both WHO instruments. “They can argue that … this passed through Congress … we’ve already agreed to ‘adhere to and comply with,’” Littlejohn said.
Boyle added the NDAA also includes the Global Pandemic Prevention and Biosecurity Act of 2022, which “paves the way for the IHR amendments and this treaty.” He argued that, through this, “the U.S. Congress has already given its authorization to both the IHR amendments and the treaty.”
These provisions would circumvent the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says that police powers reside in the hands of the states, not the federal government.
“Police powers include public health,” Boyle said, “so the Biden administration could take the position immediately upon approving the WHA treaty, that we could provisionally bring that whole treaty into force, and that circumvents the 10th Amendment,” under the aegis of the NDAA, via the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.
Boyle cited two Supreme Court decisions, U.S. v. Belmont (1937) and U.S. v. Pink (1942), “where the Supreme Court upheld executive agreements as the constitutional equivalent of treaties when it comes to circumventing the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — that’s the danger here.”
According to Boyle, though the current IHR, enacted in 2005, “were only recommended,” the U.S. government and U.S. Department of State nevertheless “took the position that this was a binding international agreement, that they listed in a publication called U.S. Treaties in Force.”
“They’re still there today,” Boyle said, “which means that even though they have not received the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate, nevertheless they were approved by the executive branch of government in accordance with the WHO Constitution, which in turn had been approved by this joint resolution of Congress.”
Boyle argued that “this whole process … was produced by the fact that there was a lot of domestic opposition here in the U.S. on a state and local basis to all the orders coming out of Washington, D.C. … including the lockdowns and the vaccine mandates.”
As a result, said Boyle, “seeing how much opposition there was to these totalitarian measures under the COVID pandemic, they decided to do an end run around all that state and local opposition and the 10th Amendment and state and local governments, by going to the WHO and turning all this into an international treaty or agreement.”
“They can then come back here and compel state and local governments and democratically elected officials to comply with that international agreement,” he said.
“The bottom line is, the Biden administration is behind all of this, and they are the ones who definitely intend to carry it out,” Boyle said. “The NDAA, the treaty and the regulations are part of a package to steamroll at least the IHR amendments right on through. It’s clear that Fauci and the State Department … are behind all this, it’s all being coordinated and they’re going to do it.”