President Joe Biden’s diplomats are negotiating a treaty with the World Health Organization to promote so-called global health equity. The premise is that in a pandemic or other worldwide disease emergency, Americans should not get better or faster health care than inhabitants of third-world countries. If Biden rams this through, Americans will suffer and die needlessly.
Under the draft treaty, presented in Geneva on Feb. 1, the U.S. will be obligated to hand over a whopping 20% of its medical supplies, including diagnostic tests, antiviral medications and vaccines, to WHO for global distribution. Article 10 of the treaty specifies this will be done in “real-time,” not after American needs are met. The U.S. will no longer be able to rush treatments and vaccines to its own citizens, prioritizing them before sending aid to other countries.
Grandma will have to wait longer for her Paxlovid or other treatments because those items, now being stockpiled and paid for by American taxpayers, will be shipped to Nigeria, Uruguay, Afghanistan and other underdeveloped nations. The WHO will call the shots on which countries get what supplies.
Treaty supporters skewer the U.S. for using up most of the Paxlovid on Americans during the recent pandemic and monopolizing early access to vaccines. They think Americans should make their own family’s health secondary to achieving global equity. Harvard University health expert Jesse Bump says the treaty is designed to correct “the shameful and selfish actions of rich countries in the covid pandemic.”
Worse, the treaty suspends patent protection for new vaccines and treatments whenever the WHO declares a pandemic. Drug companies will put the brakes on investing billions developing future antivirals and vaccines under such a threat.
The treaty deplores “intellectual property” as a barrier to “scientific progress for all.” Just the opposite is true. Where would the world have been in 2021 if Moderna and Pfizer hadn’t rushed to develop vaccines in order to reap profits?
Article 19 would require the U.S. and other wealthy countries to pay a fixed percentage of GDP yearly into a WHO pandemic preparedness fund.
WHO already collects sizable sums of money from the U.S. but unfortunately takes its orders from China. WHO’s subservience to China makes the treaty especially perilous. Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus kowtowed to China in January 2020 to cover up the initial coronavirus outbreak. Then, Ghebreyesus bowed to China’s refusal to cooperate investigations of the pandemic’s source. He also barred Taiwan from observing COVID meetings on China’s orders. Despite this, Anthony Fauci calls the pro-China Ghebreyesus his friend. Fauci’s fingerprints are all over this treaty.
More worrisome is Biden’s acquiescence. When Ghebreyesus’ term as director general expired, Biden supported his reelection instead of proposing a candidate who isn’t in China’s pocket. To hell with American interests.
Now, the proposed WHO treaty poses a new danger. It is a toxic brew of confiscatory demands for global health equity combined with behind-the-scenes dictates from China. The treaty’s defenders claim that nothing would allow WHO to meddle in how the U.S. responds domestically to a pandemic. But the actual wording of Article 4 proves otherwise. It states that each country will manage its own domestic health policies provided these policies “do not cause damage to their peoples and other countries.” You can drive a truck through that exception.
The draft treaty says it will go into effect “provisionally” before each country’s legislature considers it. To block that end-run around the Constitution, 19 Republican U.S. senators introduced a bill Feb. 15 stating the treaty is not binding unless the Senate ratifies it.
Biden, Fauci and other government big shots pushing this treaty don’t have to worry that their family members will be denied ventilators and medications when a pandemic strikes. They always go to the front of the line. But ordinary Americans need to speak up forcefully and reject the notion that they should settle for a lower standard of care to promote global health equity.
America is a generous nation, but American resources need to be reserved to meet America’s needs first, Biden’s “America Last” policies be damned.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Follow her on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.