Oklahoma Attacks Obama-Era Dependence on WHO Determination

Monday, 18 July 2022 15:08

Oklahoma Attacks Obama-Era Dependence on WHO Determination Featured

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Today, Attorney General John O’Connor filed a petition attacking an Obama-era rule which allowed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to rely upon a determination of a “public health emergency” by the World Health Organization (WHO). In the last two days of President Obama’s second term, HHS implemented a rule that permitted HHS to rely on a WHO determination of a global health emergency. This could lead to the implementation of pandemic-like measures in America based upon the WHO determination.

“This is an improper delegation of American authority to an international body which is not elected by, or accountable to, the American people,” said Attorney General O’Connor. “The Obama-era rule substantially invades the sovereignty of the U.S. and of the States, including Oklahoma.”

Attorney General O’Connor is joined in the petition by the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

The Obama rule allowed HHS to rely solely on information from, and determinations by, the WHO in declaring a public health emergency in the U.S. In particular, the regulation defines a public health emergency to include disease events declared a public health emergency by the WHO, disease events that have led the WHO to issue recommendations, and even disease events reported by other countries to the WHO as potential emergencies.

Attorney General O’Connor requests that HHS amend 42 C.F.R. § 70.1 by deleting those definitions of public health emergency because they exceed HHS’s authority. Additionally, General O’Connor calls on HHS to amend its rules because the WHO has proven to be an unreliable agency since the definitions were adopted, allowing political influence to manipulate its health information. For example, “In January 2020, the WHO surprised many observers by failing to declare COVID a public health emergency under international rules even though COVID met the legal criteria for such a declaration,” Attorney General O’Connor wrote. “Instead of reporting public health information, the WHO chose to repeat Chinese propaganda regarding COVID.”

Copy of the petition here

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