Gooden leads GOP pushback demanding Biden oppose WHO global surveillance system

"Where does it begin? Where does it end? I'm terrified by that," said Texas Republican Rep. Lance Gooden.

Published: May 19, 2022 6:00pm

Updated: May 19, 2022 10:45pm

Texas Republican Rep. Lance Gooden is leading the Republican pushback against Biden administration complicity in the World Health Organization's move to bring the United States into its "global system for surveillance."

"We are deeply concerned with the upcoming World Health Assembly and the World Health Organization's (WHO) thinly veiled power grab using a global pandemic agreement," House Republicans wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra obtained by Just the News.

The WHO will vote later this month on a new pandemic treaty and International Health Regulations amendments that would greatly expand the global health organization's resources and authority.

The lawmakers argue that the proposal would not prevent another pandemic but, instead, give the "WHO the power to declare and impose extensive lockdowns, collude with Big Tech to censor and control information, and regulate international travel."

Gooden told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Thursday that the WHO proposal would "establish a global surveillance system" and allow "the WHO to unilaterally declare health emergencies or crises in any nation."

He noted that the WHO is not providing a definition of a global health emergency, and he added that Democrats have called gun violence a health emergency before.

"Where does it begin? Where does it end? I'm terrified by that," Gooden said.

He also questioned what would happen if the WHO "requires other member countries to sanction a country where a public health emergency is unilaterally declared, and their prescribed measures weren't implemented."

One of the most notable measures included in the WHO proposal would encourage social media companies to "suppress or censor opinions" that go against the organization's narrative, the members of Congress wrote in their letter. 

The health organization would have the power to counter a "pandemic of misinformation," Gooden said, adding that Biden's "not limiting free speech just in this country. He wants to do it globally."

The WHO is also looking to create "international contact tracing and a digital vaccine card," the lawmakers told Becerra.

"Vaccine passports" have raised concerns about infringement on civil liberties since the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Lawmakers have attempted to ban the measure in several U.S. states, such as Louisiana, Arizona, and Pennsylvania.

The legislators raised the alarm about "significant data security and privacy concerns" associated with requiring member parties to submit personal civilian data to the United Nation's health organization.

"It should be noted, the WHO failed to warn the rest of the world during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequently has failed to adequately investigate the pandemic's origin," the lawmakers said. 

The WHO receives public funding, the majority of which comes from Germany and the United States, but it also receives private donations. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave more than $750 million to the WHO in 2020-2021. 

The Republicans raised concerns that the private contributors will "influence and profit from WHO's health decisions."

Gooden told podcast host John Solomon: "They've been preaching to us about how health decisions should not be political for the last two and a half years, and everything about the World Health Organization is political. It's a disaster, and what's coming up in the coming week is very scary."

The Republican representatives said they oppose granting any additional resources or authority to the WHO that could affect U.S. sovereignty. The group also said they oppose "granting the WHO any additional authority until there is a full and complete investigation into the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic and the WHO's role in covering up the Chinese government's likely role in its origin."

WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised China for its response to the COVID pandemic. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Tedros of being "bought" by China in July 2020, months after global lockdowns began.

Gooden said the WHO has "been covering up for the Chinese."

The lawmaker said he cannot imagine that the WHO's proposal is constitutional. "I'm not prepared to cede my constitutional rights to some health organization that is partially run by the Chinese," he said "I don't care if Joe Biden signs me up for it or not. I'm just not interested, and I don't think the American people are."

Signatories to the letter to Becerra include Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Ben Cline of Virginia, Debbie Lesko of Arizona, Paul Gosar of Arizona and Lauren Boebert of Colorado.

Gooden noted that the public will "continue to hear very loud fighting from Republicans on this."

The GOP is raising the alarm after former presidential candidate and Tea Party star Michele Bachmann warned "Just the News, Not Noise" earlier this month about the Biden administration's plan to "create a platform for global governance" through the WHO.

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