Australian PM Scott Morrison said he supports giving up Australia’s health sovereignty to the WHO to deal with future pandemics.
“The WHO meets on May 22, and on the agenda is a potential pandemic treaty which would allow WHO to direct countries in how they control pandemics. Would you consider signing up to that and handing over any controls to the organization?” asked a reporter.
“… The WHO should have those powers and those authorities to be able to go and deal with pandemic situations because we all know what happened at the start of this pandemic — well, the problem is, we don’t know what happened at the start of this pandemic, and I was one the one calling to ensure that we had an independent process to understand what happened so it couldn’t be repeated,” said PM Scott Morrison.
Indeed, shortly after the pandemic broke out, Morrison called for the WHO to have more power, even though the WHO infamously tweeted in January 2020 that COVID wasn’t contagious — after relying on Chinese authorities’ word.
Morrison further acknowledged that the fine print of any treaty is important, but claimed countries shouldn’t be able to deny the WHO access to conduct their own investigations.
Furthermore, he chastised the Australian Labour Party for mocking his desire to give up sovereignty to the WHO, which seems to be unfounded.
Regardless, despite an Australian election looming on May 21 — and polls close — the two parties appear to have a similar stance on health sovereignty.
The Labour Party, led by Anthony Albanese, is running in part on “protecting our nation’s political sovereignty from external pressure,” as well as “improve pandemic preparedness and response by establishing an Australian Centre for Disease Control.”
However, when asked whether he would sign the pandemic treaty, he indicated that “strengthening the WHO” is extremely important, without giving a straight “yes” or “no” response.