By David Bell, Brownstone Institute | May 10, 2023
The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) reassures us that the WHO’s “pandemic accord” (or “treaty”) won’t reduce the sovereignty of its Member States. The WHO trusts that these words will serve as a distraction from reality. Those driving the perpetual health emergency agenda are planning to give it more power, and States less. This will happen whenever the WHO designates a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” (PHEIC), or considers we may be at risk of one.
The WHO’s proposed treaty, taken together with its “synergistic” amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR), aim to undo centuries of democratic reform that based sovereignty with individuals, and by extension their State. The discomfort of facing this truth and the complexities it raises is providing the cover needed to push these changes through. This is how democracy, and freedom, wither and die.
Why It’s Hard to Acknowledge Reality
Our society in the West is built on trust and a feeling of superiority—we built the institutions that run the world and they, and we, are good. We consider ourselves humanitarians, the public health advocates, the unifiers, and anti-fascist freedom-lovers. We consider our system is better than the alternatives—we are “progressive.”
It takes quite a step for comfortable, middle-income left-leaning professionals to believe that the institutions and philanthropic organizations we have admired all our lives might now be pillaging us. Our society relies on having “trusted sources,” the WHO being one of them. Among others are our major media organizations. If our trusted sources told us we were being misled and pillaged, we would accept this. But they are telling us these claims are false, and that all is well. The WHO’s director-general himself assures us of this. Anyone who thinks rich corporate and private sponsors of the WHO and other health institutions are self-interested, that they might mislead and exploit others for their own benefit, is a conspiracy theorist.
We are all capable of believing the rich and powerful of past ages would exploit the masses, but somehow this is hard to believe in the present. For proof of their benevolence, we rely on the word of their own publicity departments and the media they support. Somehow, malfeasance on a grand scale is always a figment of history, and now we are smarter and enlightened.
Over recent decades we have watched individuals accumulate wealth equivalent to medium-sized countries. They meet our elected leaders behind closed doors at Davos. We then applaud the largesse they bestow on the less fortunate, and pretend all this is fine. We watch as corporations expand across national borders, seemingly above the laws that apply to ordinary citizens. We allowed their “public-private partnerships” to turn international institutions into purveyors of their commodities. We ignored this descent because their publicity departments told us to, becoming apologists for obvious authoritarians because we want to believe they are somehow doing a “greater good.”
While a school child might see through this façade to the conflicted greed beyond, it is much harder for those with years of political baggage, a peer network, reputation and career to admit they have been duped. The behavioral psychologists that our governments and institutions now employ understand this. Their job is to keep us believing the trusted sources they sponsor. Our challenge is to put reality above right-think.
The Remaking of the WHO
When the WHO was set up in 1946 to help coordinate responses to major health problems issues, the world was emerging from the last great bout of fascism and colonialism. Both these societal models were sold on the basis of centralizing power for a greater good. Those who considered themselves superior would run the world for those less worthy. The WHO once claimed to follow a different line.
Since the early 2000s the WHO’s activities have been increasingly dictated by “specified funding.” Its funders, increasingly including private and corporate interest, tell it how to use the money they give. Private direction is fine for private organizations promoting their investors wares, but it is obviously a non-starter for an organization seeking to mandate medicines, close borders, and confine people. Anyone with a basic understanding of history and human nature will recognize this. But these powers are exactly what the amendments to the International Health Regulations and the new treaty intend.
Rather than consider alternate approaches, the WHO is seeking censorship of opinions not fitting its narrative, publicly denigrating and demeaning those who question its policies. These are not the actions of an organization representing “we the people,” or confident in this ability to justify its actions. They are the trappings we have always associated with intellectual weakness and fascism.
WHO’s Impact on Population Health
In its 2019 pandemic influenza recommendations, the WHO stated that “not in any circumstances” should contact tracing, border closures, entry or exit screening, or quarantine of exposed individuals be undertaken in an established pandemic. They wrote this because such measures would cause more harm than good, and disproportionately harm poorer people. In 2020, in conjunction with private and national sponsors, it supported the largest wealth shift in history from low to high income by promoting these same measures.
In abandoning its principles, the WHO abandoned millions of girls to nightly rape through child marriage, increased teenage pregnancies and child mortality, reduced childhood education, and grew poverty and malnutrition. Despite most of these people being too young to be troubledby the COVID and already having immunity, they promoted billions of dollars of mass vaccination while traditional priorities such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS deteriorate. Western media have met this with silence or empty rhetoric. Saving lives does not turn a profit, but selling commodities does. The WHO’s sponsors are doing what they need for their investors, while the WHO is doing what it needs to keep their money flowing.
The New Powers of the WHO
The IHR amendments will reduce the sovereignty of any WHO Member State that fails to actively reject them, giving a single person (the Director General) direct influence over health policy and the freedom of its citizens is indisputable. It is what the document says. Countries will “undertake” to follow recommendations, no longer simply suggestions or advice.
While the WHO does not have a police force, the World Bank and IMF are on board, and control much of your money supply. The U.S. Congress passed a bill last year recognizing that the U.S. Government should address countries that do not comply with the IHR. We are not witnessing toothless threats, most countries, and their people, will have little choice.
The real power of the WHO’s proposals is in their application for any health-related matter they proclaim to be a threat. The proposed amendments state this explicitly, while the “Treaty” expands the scope to “One-Health,” a hijacked public health concept that can mean anything perceived to be affecting human physical, mental, or social well-being. Inclement weather, crop failures or the promulgation of ideas that cause people stress; everyday things that humans has always coped with, now become reasons to confine people and impose solutions dictated by others.
In essence, those sponsoring the WHO are manufacturing crises of their own desiring, and are set to get wealthier from other’s misery, as they did during COVID. This under the guise of “keeping us safe.” As the WHO implausibly insists, “no one is safe until all are safe,” so removal of human rights must be broad and prolonged. Behavioural psychology is there to ensuring we comply.
Facing the Future
We are building a future in which compliance with authoritarian dictates will win the return of stolen freedoms, while censorship will suppress dissent. People who wish to see evidence, who remember history or insist on informed consent will be designated, in WHO parlance, far-right mass killers. We have already entered this world. Public figures who claim otherwise are presumably not paying attention, or have other motivations.
We can meekly accept this new disease-obsessed world, some may even embrace the salaries and careers it bestows. Or we can join those fighting for the simple right of individuals to determine their own future, free from the false public goods of colonialism and fascism. At the very least, we can acknowledge the reality around us.
David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is a former medical officer and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Programme Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in Bellevue, WA, USA.