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Reeves joins 23 governors in opposing pandemic treaty proposal with World Health Organization

Tate Reeves speech
Photo courtesy of Governor Tate Reeves

Governor Tate Reeves has joined 23 states in opposing President Joe Biden’s expected global pandemic treaty with the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of the agency’s general assembly beginning May 27.

The Biden administration is negotiating an agreement with the WHO that would exchange the global organization’s current international health regulations in favor of new pandemic-related policies. The new procedures, per the WHO, would serve to prepare countries across the globe for the next pandemic and the potential outbreak of “Disease X” — a virus that has not yet been formed.

In a joint letter addressed to Biden, Reeves and his Republican peers promulgated uneasiness over the idea of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a man governors called “uncontrollable,” having the power to declare a public health emergency on a seemingly whimsical basis.

The governors fear that the expected treaty will embolden the WHO, an unelected advisory group, to have the authority to dictate how the U.S. responds to public health emergencies of international concern, stripping states of their right to set health policies in their respective jurisdictions.

“The only people that should be deciding America’s health policies are Americans — not the World Health Organization,” Reeves wrote on X. “If WHO had its way, they’d censor speech, restrict travel, and violate your privacy. I’m standing with Republican governors in calling on Biden to reject these unconstitutional proposals.”

Officials with the U.S. Department of State, on the other hand, contend that the treaty would help the U.S. fight any future pandemics by working with other nations to detect threats as soon as they emerge and take necessary action to save lives.

The WHO was a prominent figurehead during the COVID-19 pandemic as many countries worldwide adhered to the organization’s pandemic guidelines. Critics, however, began to discredit the WHO’s integrity after the agency downplayed the role a Wuhan lab played in the virus’s origins and failed to investigate China in a timely manner.

Joining Reeves in sending this letter to the President were governors from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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