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Risch, Colleagues: U.S. Cannot Cede Power to Flawed WHO

15 Senators Introduce Resolution to Protect U.S. Sovereignty

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today led Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Thune (R-S.D.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) in introducing a resolution that will ensure the president does not cede U.S. sovereignty to entities like the World Health Organization (WHO) by ratifying international pandemic agreements without Senate approval:  

“The United States is a sovereign nation that cannot cede power to the deeply-flawed World Health Organization for any future health emergency. The WHO failed to hold China accountable for the global spread of COVID-19, which killed over 1 million Americans and thousands of Idahoans. Giving it power over any future health emergency affecting the U.S. would be a disaster with potentially deadly consequences,” said Risch. “This resolution makes clear the Senate must approve an international agreement – in any form – that requires new or expanded legal obligations in the U.S.”

Background: The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the decision-making body of the WHO. Following a decision by the WHA during its special session in December 2021, an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) was formed to draft an international agreement to strengthen international pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. The INB has developed a working draft for further negotiation, and is expected to deliver a final agreement by May 2024.

Full text of the resolution can be found here.