World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (pictured) denied last week that his organization's pandemic treaty is little more than a "power grab." Ghebreyesus, speaking virtually to a meeting of the Warwick Economic Summit, said what WHO calls its pandemic accord, is "mission critical for humanity" during the next world medical emergency. "And there will be a next time," he warned.
The word "treaty" is missing from WHO messaging, perhaps because any treaty involving the United States must be ratified by the Senate.
The U.N.-funded WHO has been working since 2021 to negotiate and finalize this agreement with the stated goal to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.
Even if the plan is finalized, the U.S. is technically not bound to abide by rules created within the WHO; but the United States and 195 other countries are legally bound by the International Health Regulations that were adopted by the WHO in 2005.
The WHO's reach here is going far beyond pandemic preparedness, Rep. Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) said on Washington Watch Monday.
"They embedded into the treaty language that talks about continuing essential health services," Smith told show host Tony Perkins. "Now that sounds benign. Who would argue with that? Then you look into WHO pronouncements – and these are all on their website, and I have copies of every one of them – and they define essential health services to be abortion on demand.
"They are pushing now, as model legislation for the world, abortion right up into the moment of birth, all nine months; no gestational limits; and for any reason," Smith added.
The agreement also attacks free speech with its language that would allow WHO to "combat misunderstandings and misinformation," the 22-term GOP lawmaker said.
'Fake news, lies, conspiracies' work against accord, U.N. leader says
WHO hopes countries will finalize the agreement before the annual meeting of the World Health Assembly May 27-June 1 in Geneva. Ghebreyesus told the gathering that two remaining obstacles are blocking that passage.
One is what the global business magazine Fortune calls "a group of issues that, though not insurmountable, need further negotiation." The second is what Ghebreyesus calls "a torrent of fake news, lies and conspiracy theories."
Ghebreyesus' rise to director general was backed by China, and some scientists accused him of cozying up to China during the pandemic. Rep. Smith suspects that as well.
"He got his job from [President] Xi Jinping in China. He was their candidate, they backed him, they lobbied for him – and when COVID hit, he did everything he could to provide disinformation about how it spreads as well as the origins of it. We still don't have from WHO a clear and definitive word as to where it came from because he was doing the Chinese Communist Party's bidding," Smith said.