Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., introduced a bill Thursday aimed at limiting the international powers of the World Health Organization as the Biden administration prepares to propose amendments to the group's International Health Regulations during the World Health Assembly in Geneva this week, reports Fox News.
Some Republicans say the Biden administration will hand over U.S. national sovereignty on matters of health to the WHO if the amendments are approved. They fear the same about an international treaty for pandemic preparedness agreed to by more than 20 heads of government and global agencies in March.
"The WHO's radical 'pandemic treaty' is a dangerous globalist overreach," Scott told Fox News digital.
"The United States of America must never give more power to the WHO. The WHO is a puppet for Xi Jinping, controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, and helped Beijing cover up the origins of COVID-19. We must quickly pass this bill to ensure that public health matters in the country remain in the hands of Americans, not globalist puppets working for Communist China."
The bill would require U.S. officials to oppose changes to the WHO charter until both chambers of Congress agree to adopt change in a joint resolution and prevent U.S. officials from being bound to orders or directives given by the WHO or anyone in its branches.
Administration officials have argued that changes to the regulations would make more information available at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and be distributed at a faster pace.
"So these tweaks or changes say things like, 'Hey, if you see something happening in your country where people are suddenly starting to die, maybe you want to let people know. And ideally, you let WHO know,' " Loyce Pace, assistant secretary for global affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, said at a Devex event Wednesday in Geneva in describing the changes.
But Republicans are not on board.
"The WHO is a corrupt, radical institution that was powerless to stop COVID-19 spreading beyond China and has failed to conduct a serious investigation into the origins of the virus," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said in a statement to Global Pulse. "It was a mistake to rejoin the WHO without demanding urgently needed reforms and the administration's current approach will do nothing to rectify the WHO's many issues."
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