The Biden administration is preparing to sign up the United States to a “legally binding” accord with the World Health Organization (WHO) that would give this Geneva-based UN subsidiary the authority to dictate America’s policies during a pandemic.
Despite widespread criticism of the WHO’s response to the COVID pandemic, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra joined with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in September 2022 to announce “the U.S.-WHO Strategic Dialogue.” Together, they developed a “platform to maximize the longstanding U.S. government-WHO partnership, and to protect and promote the health of all people around the globe, including the American people.”
These discussions and others spawned the “zero draft” (pdf) of a pandemic treaty, published on Feb. 1, which now seeks ratification by all 194 WHO member states. A meeting of the WHO’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) is scheduled for Feb. 27 to work out the final terms, which all members will then sign.
Written under the banner of “the world together equitably,” the zero draft grants the WHO the power to declare and manage a global pandemic emergency. Once a health emergency is declared, all signatories, including the United States, would submit to the authority of the WHO regarding treatments, government regulations such as lockdowns and vaccine mandates, global supply chains, and monitoring and surveillance of populations.