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Biden Administration Eager to Sign WHO Pandemic Treaty

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7 minute read

From Heartland Daily News

By Bonner Russell Cohen, Ph.D.  

The Biden administration signaled its support for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) new pandemic treaty expected to be finalized at its World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, the final week of May.

Pamela Hamamoto, the State Department official representing the United States at the meeting, stated that “America is committed to signing the treaty that will ‘build a stronger global health structure,’” wrote John Tierney, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor, in the City Journal.

Adoption of a legally binding pact governing how countries around the world are to respond to future outbreaks like the recent COVID-19 pandemic has been the goal of WHO-directed negotiations since 2021. The WHO, a United Nations-sponsored organization, came under sharp criticism for its handling of the coronavirus.

On May 8, attorneys general from 22 states sent President Biden a letter saying they oppose the accords which will turn the WHO into the “world’s governor of public health.”  The letter says giving the WHO such authority violates the U.S. Constitution, and could lead to censorship of dissenting opinions, undermine Constitutional freedoms, and give the WHO power to declare any “emergency” besides health including climate change, gun violence, and immigration.

Missteps on COVID-19

In a post on Twitter (now X) on January 14, 2020, the WHO stated: “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China.”

Two weeks later, on January 30, 2020, WHO’s Emergency Committee issued a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), stating, “The Committee emphasized that the declaration of a PHEIC should be seen in the spirit of support and appreciation of China, its people, and the actions China has taken on the front lines of this outbreak, with transparency and, it is to be hoped, success.”

The WHO’s initial investigation into the origins of COVID-19 concluded it was improbable that the virus resulted from experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, though it later acknowledged that it could have come from a lab leak at Wuhan. The WHO’s investigation, which was thwarted by Chinese officials, ultimately reached no conclusion. President Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the WHO, a decision reversed by President Joe Biden on January 20, 2021.

More Smoke and Mirrors

Further undermining the WHO’s credibility in setting policies on managing a future pandemic, the group decided to include Peter Daszak, president of the New York-based EcoHealth Alliance, in its initial investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

Daszak and EcoHealth Alliance prominently featured in an investigation by the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic into the government’s funding and lack of oversight of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab, for which EcoHealth received grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Institutes of Health.

In an interim report released on May 1, 2024, the subcommittee said there is “significant evidence that Daszak violated the terms of the NIH grant awarded to EcoHealth. Given Dr. Daszak’s apparent contempt for the American people and disregard for legal reporting requirements, the Select Subcommittee recommends the formal debarment of and a criminal investigation into EcoHealth and its President.”

After the release of the report, U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) told the Washington Examiner, “The World Health Organization covered up the Chinese Communist Party’s role in developing and spreading COVID-19 and has since failed to hold them accountable for the global pandemic that killed millions, upended our daily lives, and destroyed thousands of small businesses.”

Public Fed Up

The WHO’s shaky record on COVID, including its close ties to China and Peter Daszak, have taken a toll on the public’s willingness to accept its leadership in any future pandemics.

poll conducted by McLaughlin & Associates for the Center for Security Policy, released on April 17, found that 54.6 percent of likely voters oppose tying the United States to a WHO pandemic treaty, and just 29.0 percent favor such a move.

Agreements Bypass Congress

While providing few details, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January, WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus said, “The pandemic agreement can bring all the experience, all the challenges we have faced and all the solutions into one. That agreement could help us prepare for the future in a better way.”

The “treaty” the Biden administration is eager to sign will likely be an executive agreement, like the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which was not presented to the U.S. Senate for ratification but contained “commitments” President Barack Obama pledged to honor.

Also in the works in Geneva are amendments to International Health Regulations, which Congress would not approve or disapprove.COVID

WHO’s Power Grab

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WS), sent a letter to President Biden signed by all 49 Republican senators, expressing their concern about the powers that could be handed to WHO, on May 2.

“Some of the over 300 proposals for amendments made by member states would substantially increase the WHO’s emergency powers and constitute intolerable infringements upon U.S. sovereignty,” the letter states.

Craig Rucker, president of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), who has attended UN-sponsored conferences around the world for over 30 years, says the WHO is a destructive force.

“WHO’s performance during COVID-19 was a lethal combination of incompetence and dishonesty,” said Rucker. “The organization failed to protect public health and went to extraordinary lengths to cover up China’s role in fostering gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab. Ratification of any WHO pandemic treaty would be nothing short of a travesty.”

Bonner Russell Cohen, Ph.D. ([email protected]is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research.

 

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Economy

ESG rankings have no significant effect on investment performance of Canadian public companies

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From the Fraser Institute

By Steven Globerman

Despite claims to the contrary, the ESG rankings of publicly-traded Canadian companies have no significant effect on investment returns, finds a new study published today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian
public policy think-tank.

“While government regulators and some industry executives promote the benefits of ESG investing, there’s no evidence of significant advantages for investors,” said Steven Globerman, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and author of ESG Investing and Financial Returns in Canada.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) is a movement designed to pressure businesses and investors to pursue larger social goals. In Canada, due to government securities regulation, publicly-traded companies must disclose ESG-related
information on a range of issues including environmental impact, human rights, and equity and inclusion.

ESG advocates claim that government-mandated ESG disclosures improve the financial performance of companies.
However, the study—the first empirical analysis of the relationship between changes in the ESG rankings of Canadian publicly-traded companies and equity returns— tracked 310 companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange from 2013 to 2022 and found no significant relationship between changes in ESG ranking (upgrades or downgrades) and financial returns, as measured by the price of shares and dividend income.

In other words, advocates for greater ESG disclosures cannot accurately claim—based on Canadian evidence—that requiring companies to provide more information for ESG rankings will significantly affect the financial performance of Canadian
investors.

“Better performance on ESG rankings simply does not translate into better financial performance for Canadian firms,” Globerman said.

  • ESG investing incorporates environmental (E), social (S), and governance (G) considerations into investment decisions. Until recently, ESG-themed investing comprised an increasing share of investments made by professional money managers and retail investors.
  • Financial industry executives and regulators who have promoted ESG-themed investing argue that it will enhance investment performance either by increasing asset returns and/or by reducing investment risk.
  • However, empirical studies, on balance, find no consistent and statistically significant evidence of a positive relationship between the ESG rankings of individual companies or portfolios of companies and the financial performances of those companies or investment portfolios.
  • Most empirical studies have focused on US-based publicly traded companies. To our knowledge, this study is the first to focus on returns to ESG-themed investing for Canadian-based public companies.
  • Using data from MSCI, a leading ESG ratings provider, we estimate the statistical relationship between changes in ESG rankings of companies and changes in equity returns for those companies using a sample of 310 companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange between 2013 and 2022.
  • Our study finds that neither upgrades nor downgrades in ESG ratings significantly affect stock market returns.

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espionage

More officials issue ‘imminent terrorist attack’ warnings

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Foreign nationals illegally enter the U.S. from Canada. 

From The Center Square

The greatest number of KSTs to ever be apprehended in U.S. history was in fiscal 2023 of 736; with the majority, 487, apprehended at the northern border, including an Iranian with terrorist ties, The Center Square first reported. In response, members of the U.S. House Northern Border Security Caucus called on DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to secure the northern border.

Another member of Congress has warned a terrorist attack is imminent. This latest warning comes after a former CIA director argued that similar warning signs exist today that did before the 9/11 terror attack occurred.

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, told CBS News’ Face the Nation Sunday, “We are at the highest level of a possible terrorist threat” resulting from Biden administration policies.

He issued the warning after eight foreign nationals traveling from Tajikistan with ties to ISIS were arrested. The men were released into the country by U.S. Border Patrol agents after they were apprehended for illegally entering the U.S. through the southwest border.

Under current administration policy, instead of processing inadmissible illegal foreign nationals for deportation, they are released into the U.S. with “notice to appear” documents for a future immigration court date. The agents claimed they didn’t have information tying them to ISIS when they “vetted” and released them. However, “law enforcement subsequently became concerned with their presence in the U.S. and took action,” CBS News reported.

FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces and Department of Homeland Security agents arrested the eight alleged terrorists in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York. They are currently in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody pending removal proceedings.

Turner said, “what’s important about these reports” is that a terrorism threat is “no longer speculative, no longer hypothetical.”

He also referred to warnings issued by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who in April testified before Congress that Islamic terrorist threats and national security threats were coming through the border. In March, he testified that smuggling organizations with ties to ISIS were coming through the border and the FBI was investigating, The Center Square reported.

Turner said his committee members “have con-concurred on the intelligence that we’re seeing that as a result of the administration’s policies allowing people to cross the border unvetted. We have terrorists that are actively working inside the United States that are a threat to Americans.”

His warning came after an Inspector General report found that Department of Homeland Security agencies, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Border Patrol, are not vetting illegal foreign nationals due to a range of problems, The Center Square reported.

“This administration, by their own policy, are then allowing those individuals in instead of fully vetting them, fully understanding what the risk is the United States and for the fact that they’re letting them in, and … they’re entering the United States through the southern border illegally. And that’s what the threat is,” Turner said. “That’s what Director Wray is identifying, and is bringing forward. This administration’s policies are directly resulting in people who were in the United States illegally, who have ties to terrorist groups and organizations, and this is a threat.”

Former deputy director of the CIA Mike Morel also recently warned that a terrorist attack could occur in the next few months ahead of the election. In an op-ed published by Foreign Affairs, he drew parallels to warnings issued ahead of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to today, saying the “terrorism warnings lights are blinking red again.”

Terrorist threat warnings also continue after GOP House members have demanded answers about U.S. military base breaches by Jordanian and Chinese men after they illegally entered the country, The Center Square reported.

Republican Senators have also warned that because of President “Joe Biden’s open border policies, our country is really at an increased threat for a terrorist attack,” calling on him to close the border.

After claiming for years the border was secure and no border crisis existed, Biden just announced a new “border security” plan. Border experts pointed out it would codify policies he implemented that created the crisis and will allow another two million illegal entries, The Center Square reported.

Terrorist threat concerns continue to mount as CBP agents have apprehended a record number of known or suspected terrorists (KSTs), with the majority at the northern border, The Center Square first reported.

The greatest number of KSTs to ever be apprehended in U.S. history was in fiscal 2023 of 736; with the majority, 487, apprehended at the northern border, including an Iranian with terrorist ties, The Center Square first reported. In response, members of the U.S. House Northern Border Security Caucus called on DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to secure the northern border.

This fiscal year through May 15, the majority of KSTs, 173, have been apprehended at the northern border, according to CBP data.

Former acting director of ICE Tom Homan has been warning for some time of a likely terrorist attack because of Biden administration policies. He told The Center Square that Biden is the only president in U.S. history to “unsecure the border on purpose. … and has created the greatest national security crisis since 9/11.”

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