Smith presses Secretary Blinken on Biden’s push to enter binding pandemic treaty that could cede US sovereignty to World Health Organization
US would be obligated to follow WHO dictates and give away 20 percent of its medical supplies in event of future pandemic
At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing today, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) pressed Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the Biden Administration’s push to enter a binding international pandemic treaty that could cede American sovereignty to the World Health Organization (WHO) in the event of a future pandemic.
“The zero-draft WHO pandemic treaty—that the Biden Administration and others are pushing to put into effect—starts off with a harsh criticism of the United States and the international community by calling it a ‘catastrophic failure of the international community in showing solidarity and equity in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic,’’ said Smith.
“Article 4 pays lip service to sovereignty and then has language that says, ‘provided that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to their peoples and other countries,’ which would empower the WHO to step in,” Smith said.
“Article 10 says that the United States would be obligated to provide 20 percent of our medical supplies—including tests, vaccines, medications and the like—to the WHO. They would say ‘we want it, you have to give it by treaty obligation,’” said Smith.
Blinken, who did not respond to the specific concerns raised by Smith, said the Biden Administration is “not engaged in negotiating a COVID treaty. What we are engaged in is trying to strengthen the global architecture for dealing with pandemics.”
Blinken also declined to say whether the Biden Administration would send the WHO pandemic treaty to the Senate for ratification or if President Biden planned on using an executive agreement to bypass the Senate.
Smith, who first raised the alarm over the treaty last May when the Biden Administration offered its own proposal granting new unilateral authority to WHO Director-General Tedros, said the treaty would empower WHO bureaucrats and tie the United States’ hands for responding to potential future pandemics.
“We’re talking about Director-General Tedros, a man whose been put in that position by the People’s Republic of China and obviously showed terrible, terrible judgment in the beginning and even to this day in recognizing the origins of COVID-19,” Smith said.