The attempt by the United States and other Western countries at the World Health Assembly late last month to amend the International Health Regulations and strengthen the arm of the WHO in health emergencies foundered for lack of support from African nations, among others, who appear to have regarded the effort as imperialistic. This is good news, as no good can come of giving a larger role (and budget) to the WHO, which disgraced itself repeatedly during the Covid pandemic, most crucially by throwing away the existing pandemic preparedness guidance and the science it was based on and allowing itself to become a cheerleader and channel for the deadly new pseudo-science of lockdowns, as invented by the Chinese Communist Party on January 23rd 2020.
Last week’s failed amendments were bad, but they were not a new treaty and would not, as some suggested, have given the WHO power to impose lockdowns on countries (the WHO’s power to declare a health emergency in a country without its consent is already part of the IHR). There is, however, a new pandemic treaty in the pipeline, to be negotiated and drafted over the next few years. Quite why a new treaty is needed is not really clear, as there is already a treaty that covers pandemics, namely the International Health Regulations. It also isn’t clear that a new treaty is politically possible; if countries can’t even agree on amendments to the existing international pandemic rules they seem unlikely to be able to agree and pass a whole new treaty on the subject. Plus, a new treaty, if passed, would be most unlikely to involve countries agreeing to cede sovereignty to the WHO to impose lockdowns and other emergency measures within their territories without their consent.