States Move to Oppose WHO’s ‘Pandemic Treaty,’ Assert States’ Rights

By Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D. | The Defender | April 29, 2024

Utah and Florida passed laws intended to prevent the WHO from overriding states’ authority on matters of public health policy, and Louisiana and Oklahoma have legislation set to take effect soon pending final votes. Several other states are considering similar bills.

Two states have passed laws — and two states have bills pending — intended to prevent the World Health Organization (WHO) from overriding states’ authority on matters of public health policy.

Utah and Florida passed laws and Louisiana and Oklahoma have legislation set to take effect soon pending final votes. Several other states are considering similar bills.

The WHO member states will convene next month at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, to vote on two proposals — the so-called “pandemic accord” or “pandemic treaty,” and amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) — that would give the WHO sweeping new pandemic powers.

The Biden administration supports the two WHO proposals, but opposition is growing at the state level.

Proponents of the WHO’s proposals say they are vital for preparing humanity against the “next pandemic,” perhaps caused by a yet-unknown “Disease X.”

But the bills passed by state legislatures reflect frequently voiced criticisms that the WHO’s proposals imperil national sovereignty, medical and bodily sovereignty and personal liberties, and may lead to global vaccine mandates.

Critics also argue the WHO proposals may open the door to global digital “health passports” and global censorship targeting alleged “misinformation.”

Such criticisms are behind state legislative initiatives to oppose the WHO, on the basis that states’ rights are protected under the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Under the 10th Amendment, all powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states. Such powers, critics say, include public health policy.

Mary Holland, president of Children’s Health Defense (CHD), told The Defender:

“It is encouraging to see states like Louisiana, Oklahoma and Utah pass resolutions to clarify that the WHO has no power to determine health policy in their states. Historically, health has been the purview of state and local government, not the U.S. federal government.

“There is no legitimate constitutional basis for the federal government to outsource health decision-making on pandemics to an international body. As state legislatures become aware of the WHO’s agenda, they are pushing back to assert their autonomy — and this is welcome.”

Internist Dr. Meryl Nass, founder of Door to Freedom, told The Defender that, contrary to arguments that the drafters of the constitution could not foresee future public health needs, vaccines, doctors and medicine were all in existence at the time the 10th Amendment was written. They were “deliberately left out,” she said.

This has implications for the federal government’s efforts in support of the WHO’s proposals, according to Nass. “The government doesn’t have the authority to give the WHO powers for which it lacks authority,” she said.

Tennessee state Rep. Bud Hulsey (R-Sullivan County) told The Epoch Times, “We’re almost to a place in this country that the federal government has trampled on the sovereignty of states for so long that in peoples’ minds, they have no options.”

“It’s like whatever the federal government says is the supreme law of the land, and it’s not. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land,” he added.

Utah, Florida laws passed

On Jan. 31, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed Senate Bill 57, the “Utah Constitutional Sovereignty Act,” into law. It does not mention the WHO, but prohibits “enforcement of a federal directive within the state by government officers if the Legislature determines the federal directive violates the principles of state sovereignty.”

In May 2023, Florida passed Senate Bill 252 (SB 252), a bill for “Protection from Discrimination Based on Health Care Choices.” Among other clauses, it prohibits businesses and public entities from requiring proof of vaccination or prophylaxis for the purposes of employment, receipt of services, or gaining entry to such entities.

According to Section 3 of SB 252:

“A governmental entity as defined … or an educational institution … may not adopt, implement, or enforce an international health organization’s public health policies or guidelines unless authorized to do so under state law, rule, or executive order issued by the Governor.”

Nass told The Defender that Florida’s legislation offers a back door through which WHO the state can implement WHO policies because it allows a state law, rule or executive order by the governor to override the bill. According to Nass, efforts to strengthen the bill have been unsuccessful.

SB 252 was one of four bills Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed in May 2023 in support of medical freedom. The other bills were House Bill 1387, banning gain-of-function researchSenate Bill 1580, protecting physicians’ freedom of speech and Senate Bill 238, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of people’s medical choices.

Read more at The Defender