Republican governors tell Biden they don't want the WHO to have authority in their states

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Two dozen Republican governors don't want the World Health Organization (WHO) to be in charge in the event of a new global pandemic, according to a letter they sent to President Biden this week.

Two proposals are currently under negotiation that would grant the WHO “unprecedented and unconstitutional” authority in the US, according to the Republican Governors Association.

“If adopted, these agreements would elevate WHO from an advisory body to a global authority on public health,” the letter said. “Under the proposed amendments and the treaty, the WHO Director-General would supposedly be given unilateral power to declare a 'public health emergency of international concern' in Member States, which extends beyond pandemics and also includes range of perceived emergencies.”

WHO DIRECTOR IS CALLING FOR A WORLD PANDEMIC CONVENTION TO PREPARE FOR DISEASE

The World Health Organization will consider two new treaty proposals. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo)

The two proposals aim to amend the existing WHO International Health Regulations and create a new 'Pandemic Convention' treaty.

“Additional concerns arise over the establishment of a global surveillance infrastructure and requirements for member states to censor public health statements, which could potentially facilitate the proliferation of biological weapons,” the governors continued. “We are committed to opposing any attempt to transfer authority to WHO over public policies that affect our citizens, or attempts by WHO to exercise such authority over them.”

Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida, Kay Ivey of Alabama, Mike Dunleavy of Alaska, Eric Holcomb of Indiana, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Bill Lee of Tennessee, Jim Justice of West Virginia and Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa are among those who received the letter signed .

The governors of Texas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming also signed the letter.

The letter also said the proposed WHO agreement would radically change the way governors can respond to health emergencies in their states.

ALL GOP SENATORS PRESS BIDEN NOT TO SUPPORT PANDEMIC AUTHORITY EXPANSION

coronavirus COVID-19 sars-cov-2 virus mask mandates

The COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world in 2020. (iStock)

Earlier this month, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., led the entire Senate Republican Conference appeal to President Biden to reject agreements that would increase the WHO's authority in the event of a global pandemic.

The World Health Assembly (WHA) will take place from May 27 to June 1 and international agreements are expected to be considered.

The WHA is the decision-making body of the WHO, meeting annually to set goals and formulate policies among its 194 member states.

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COVID-19 patient and nurse

A COVID-19 patient. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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While the Biden administration has committed to improving global coordination to combat pandemics, it has also criticized some elements of the WHO's potential treaty. In particular, officials have poured cold water on agreements that do not adequately protect pharmaceutical companies' patents. Politics reported in January.

The White House and WHO did not immediately comment to Fox News Digital.

Julia Johnson of Fox News contributed to this report.

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