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Nearly half of all US governors urge drastic change for global health organization before new pandemic hits

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Two dozen Republican governors don’t want the World Health Organization (WHO) to call the shots in the case of another global pandemic, according to a letter they sent to President Biden this week.

Currently, there are two proposals under negotiation that would grant WHO “unprecedented and unconstitutional” authority in the U.S., according to the Republican Governors Association.

“If adopted, these agreements would seek to elevate the WHO from an advisory body to a global authority in public health,” the letter stated. “Under the proposed amendments and treaty, the WHO’s Director-General would supposedly gain unilateral power to declare a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ in member nations, extending beyond pandemics to include a range of perceived emergencies.”

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The World Health Organization will be considering two new treaty proposals. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo)

The two proposals aim to amend the WHO’s existing International Health Regulations and establish a new “Pandemic Agreement” Treaty.

“Additional concerns arise regarding the establishment of a global surveillance infrastructure and requirements for member states to censor speech related to public health, potentially facilitating the proliferation of biological weapons,” the governors continued. “We are committed to resisting any attempts to transfer authority to the WHO over public policy affecting our citizens or any efforts by the WHO to assert such authority over them.”

Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida, Kay Ivey of Alabama, Mike Dunleavy of Alaska, Eric Holcomb of Indiana, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Bill Lee of Tennessee, Jim Justice of West Virginia and Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa are among those who signed the letter.

The governors of Texas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming also signed the letter.

The letter also said the proposed WHO agreement would radically change the way governors are able to respond to health emergencies in their states.

ALL GOP SENATORS PRESS BIDEN NOT TO SUPPORT EXPANDING WHO PANDEMIC AUTHORITY

coronavirus COVID-19 sars-cov-2 virus mask mandates

The COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world in 2020. (iStock)

Earlier this month, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., led the entire Republican Senate conference in calling on President Biden to reject agreements that would expand the authority of the WHO in the case of a global pandemic.

The World Health Assembly (WHA) is set to run from May 27-June 1, and international agreements are expected to be considered. 

The WHA is the WHO’s decision-making body, which meets annually to lay out goals and craft policies between the 194 member states. 

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COVID-19 patient and nurse

A COVID-19 patient. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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While Biden’s administration has committed to enhancing global coordination to combat pandemics, it has also criticized some elements of the WHO’s potential treaty. Specifically, officials have poured cold water on agreements that don’t protect the patents of pharmaceutical companies sufficiently, Politico reported in January. 

The White House and WHO did not immediately provide comment to Fox News Digital. 

Fox News’ Julia Johnson contributed to this report. 

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