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Crapo, Risch Join Letter Demanding Biden Reject “Unacceptable” WHO Agreements

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (both R-Idaho) joined the entire Senate Republican conference in sending a letter to President Biden calling for his administration to withdraw its support for two international agreements being considered at this month’s World Health Assembly that would grant greater authority to the dysfunctional World Health Organization (WHO) and potentially weaken United States sovereignty.

The letter highlights the WHO’s abysmal COVID-19 response and argues that the president should be focusing on badly needed reforms rather than plowing ahead with international treaties and regulations that would substantially increase WHO authority, shred intellectual property rights and infringe freedom of speech. 

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

The Senators noted that the failure of the WHO’s pandemic response was “as total as it was predictable and did lasting harm to our country,” and that they “are deeply concerned that your [the Biden] administration continues to support these initiatives and strongly urge you [President Biden] to change course.”

“Should you ignore this advice, we state in the strongest possible terms that we consider any such agreement to be a treaty requiring the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senate under Article II Section 2 of the Constitution," the Senators concluded.

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) led the letter. In addition to Crapo, Risch, and Johnson, the letter was also signed by Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Katie Boyd Britt (R-Alabama), Ted Budd (R-North Carolina), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee), Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Roger Marshall, (R-Kansas), Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebraska), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Eric Schmitt (R-Missouri), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), John Thune (R-South Dakota), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Todd Young (R-Indiana).

Full text of the letter can be found here.