WHO Treaty is a Paper Tiger
A Constitutional attorney explains why the Biden administration lacks authority to subordinate the US Constitution by abdicating US sovereignty to the WHO.
Proposed amendments to the Internal Health Regulations of the World Health Organization (WHO) purport to surrender the sovereignty of the United States to declare health emergencies to the unilateral control of the WHO’s Director General (see Provisional agenda item 16.2).
As a constitutional Attorney, I am unconcerned about the proposed changes because the Biden administration lacks the authority to abdicate US sovereignty in such a way.
As an initial matter, the Biden administration (the executive branch) lacks the authority to adopt any treaty on behalf of the United States. President Biden has only the authority to enter into Executive Agreements with foreign nations. For an Executive Agreement or other international agreement to become a Treaty (to have the force and effect of a Federal Statute), it must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate. See United States Constitution Article II § 2. Support for abdicating US sovereignty to declare a state of emergency to an international body simply doesn’t exist in the Senate.
Even if the Senate approved this measure as a Treaty, the Tenth Amendment expressly grants the police powers (the power to govern health and safety of citizens) to the states.
Essentially, everything about the WHO agreement is a show to gin up support for COVID authoritarianism. It is likely to impact smaller countries within the UN, those that do not have the same constitutional protections.
A good analogy to the legal impact of this agreement on the United States is the Convention to End All Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), a UN treaty signed by President Carter in the 1980s. Ultimately, CEDAW was not ratified by the Senate, making it an Executive Agreement. Signing CEDAW was merely a show for President Carter’s base.
What is dangerous, is the potential for localities (e.g., county boards of supervisors) and states to use the WHO agreement as a model for legislation abdicating local or state authority to health authorities such as the CDC and the WHO.
Ryan Heath is lead Attorney at The Gavel Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to defending medical freedom and civil rights secured by the law. www.thegavelproject.com