Rep. Chris Smith to invite Biden officials to testify at House hearing on controversial measure
By Brianna Herlihy | Fox News
FIRST ON FOX – Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., announced Monday he will be chairing a congressional hearing on the Biden administration’s “push to enter an international pandemic treaty that could cede American sovereignty to the World Health Organization (WHO).”
Smith, who chairs a subcommittee concerned with global health and human rights organizations, first raised concerns last May when the White House offered amendments to the WHO’s international health regulations, which the congressman said would grant new unilateral authority to the director-general of the WHO to declare a public health crisis in the United States and/or other sovereign nations without any consultation with the U.S. or any other WHO member states.
Specifically, Smith said, the Biden amendment would strike the current regulation that requires the WHO to “consult with and attempt to obtain verification from the State Party in whose territory the event is allegedly occurring in,” an action he says would be ceding the United States’ ability to declare and respond to an infectious disease outbreak within the U.S. and be dependent on the judgment of the United Nations.
Smith said top officials from the Biden administration will be invited to testify, but it’s not yet clear who those officials will be.
Smith’s office says they hope to hold the hearing next month.
“Under absolutely no circumstances should the Biden administration surrender American sovereignty to the World Health Organization and allow the voice of the American people and consent of the governed to be subjugated to dictates of an agenda-driven global administrative bureaucracy,” Smith said.
“The American people have a right to know exactly what the Biden administration is negotiating at the WHO, especially as the president remains silent and fails to reassure us that he will protect our Constitution from bureaucrats at this troubled United Nations body,” said Smith.
Smith said the hearing will help bring greater public scrutiny and “much-needed transparency” to the administration’s “aggressive efforts to enter this new accord with the WHO, which took disastrous missteps during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The WHO has had a zero-draft treaty in the works for at least a year. Amendments will be considered in an upcoming meeting in July. A vote to adopt a final version of the treaty will likely take place in 2024.
Smith says the zero-draft WHO pandemic treaty starts off with “very harsh criticism of the United States and the international community by calling it a ‘catastrophic failure of the international community in showing solidarity and equity in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.'”
Article 4 of the treaty, he says, “pays lip service to sovereignty and then completely overcomes that lip service by saying, ‘provided that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to their peoples and other countries.'”
He says that language “empowers the WHO to step in and prescribe what each country would do.”
Article 10, Smith claims, says the United States would be obligated to provide 20% of its medical supplies – including tests, vaccines, medications and the like – to the WHO.
“They would say, ‘We want it, you have to provide it,’” he said.”My colleagues and I look forward to having the Biden administration address these grave concerns that have rightfully alarmed many American citizens, including me,” said Smith Monday.