The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2023, formally known as H.R.7776 – James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 enacted Subtitle D – International Pandemic Preparedness as part of US Law.

The entire NDAA is 1772 printed pages, but portion we are concern about – Subtitle D – is copied below with highlights over the problematic passages.

Problems with the NDAA 2023’s Subtitle D—

“International Pandemic Preparedness Act,” pages 950-967

Meryl Nass, MD

I have listed 6 specific items in the NDAA 2023 that should be of concern to members of Congress and I discuss 2 general items after them.  I first quote the bill language and then make comments in italics.  I bolded items of particular importance–Meryl Nass, MD

1.  Section 5560 (2) (C) (i-vi). 

(2)  The terms “Global Health Security Agenda” and “GHSA” mean the multi sectoral initiative launched in 2014 and renewed in 2018, that bring together countries, regions, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector–

(C)  to facilitate national capacity to comply with and adhere to

(i) the International Health Regulations (2005);
(ii) the international standards and guidelines established by the World Organisation for Animal Health;
(iii) United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004);
(iv) the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, done at Washington, London, and Moscow, April 10, 1972 (commonly referred to as the ‘‘Biological Weapons Convention’’);
(v) the Global Health Security Agenda 2024 Framework; and
(vi) other relevant frameworks that contribute to global health security.

This asserts US compliance with and adherence to current and future documents related to global health security such as the pandemic treaty and future IHR (2005) amendments.

Section 5560 (2) (C) (iii-iv) states that the government needs to act in accord with the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention, the 2004 Global Health Security Agenda, etc.
These documents explicitly prohibit the proliferation of potential pandemic pathogens, a.k.a. biowarfare agents.
However, the WHO’s proposed amendments and pandemic treaty demand that countries share samples using a Pathogen Access and Benefits Sharing (PABS) system and a WHO BioHub, which will explicitly share samples with universities, research centers and pharmaceutical companies–entirely ignoring the proliferation issues this raises.  

2.  Section 5562 (a) (1) (A)

(a). United States international activities to advance global health security and diplomacy strategy and report

(1). IN GENERAL–the President shall develop, update, maintain, and advance comprehensive strategy for improving United States global health security and diplomacy for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response which, consistent with the purposes of this subtitle, shall–

(A). Clearly articulate United States policy goals related to pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, including through actions to strengthen diplomatic leadership and the effectiveness of United States foreign policy and international preparedness assistance for global health security through advancement of a One Health approach, the Global Health Security Agenda, the International Health Regulations (2005), and other relevant frameworks that contribute to pandemic prevention and preparedness;​

This appears to require that the US advance the so-called One Health approach, which is poorly defined but has been claimed to provide “ecological equity” by equating the value of human lives with animal lives.  See “One Health:  a call for ecological equity,” which states, “we are as concerned about the welfare of non-human animals and the environment as we are about humans.” Editorial. The Lancet 401; 169: January 21, 2023.  The “One Health approach” can also be used to place all animals, humans, plants and ecosystems under the auspices of The WHO Director-General, if the IHR (2005) amendments and/or pandemic treaty are passed by the World Health Assembly.

3.  Section 5562 (a) (1) (L)

(L)  Strengthen linkages between complementary bilateral and multilateral foreign assistance programs, including efforts of the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, that contribute to the development of more resilient health systems and global supply chains for global health security and pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response in partner countries with the capacity, resources, and personnel required to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats; and

Gavi is a charitable organization founded by Bill Gates to produce and disseminate vaccines; why does this law specify this charity by name?

4.  Section 5562 (e) (1) page 959

(e). Coordination for international pandemic early warning network–

(1). Sense of Congress–it is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Secretary of State, the USAID administrator, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the heads of the other relevant federal departments and agencies, should work with the World Health Organization and other key stakeholders to establish or strengthen effective early warning systems, at the partner countries, regional, and international levels, that utilize innovative information and analytical tools and robust review processes to track, document, analyze, and forecast infectious disease threats with epidemic and pandemic potential.

Early warning systems have been attempted since at least the anthrax letters attack in 2001 and none have been successful.  Peter Daszak is a leader of the Global Virome Project, which seeks billions of dollars in funding to go trap wild animals and identify the viruses they harbor, as a means of forecasting infectious disease threats.  However, we have learned that such work is reckless, as it is more likely to unleash a pandemic then predict one.  Furthermore, Prof. Ralph Baric himself has noted that if you look for viruses with pandemic potential (allowing the WHO D-G to declare a potential pandemic) they are easy to find.  In fact, such efforts to forecast infectious diseases by seeking out viruses with pandemic potential is not only foolish but foolhardy, allowing a potential pandemic to be declared at will.

5.  Section 5562 (f) (1) and (f) (3) (B)

(f). International emergency operations–

(1). Sense of Congress –it is the sense of Congress that it is essential to enhance the capacity of key stakeholders to effectively operationalize early warning and execute multi sectoral emergency operations during an infectious disease outbreak, particularly in countries and areas that deliberately withhold critical global health data and delay access during an infectious disease outbreak, in advance of the next infectious disease outbreak with pandemic potential.

(3) (B)  to secure, including through utilization of standby arrangements and emergency funding mechanisms, the staff, systems, and resources necessary to execute cross sectoral emergency operations during the 48 hour period immediately following an infectious disease outbreak with pandemic potential;

Does this mean that Congress has given the Executive the authorization to send US personnel into a foreign country that is deliberately withholding data, [i.e., an unfriendly nation] to perform unspecified activities with the only justification being the potential for a pandemic? 

6.  Section 5564. General Provisions (a) (1)

(a). Authorization of appropriations–

(1). In general, –there is authorized to be appropriated $5 billion for the five-year period beginning on October 1, 2022 to carry out the purposes of sections 5562 and 5563, which may be in addition to amounts otherwise made available

Congress has allotted $5 billion dollars or more for activities that arguably may increase the risk of a pandemic rather than prevent or predict one.

The International Pandemic Preparedness Act also states that we need to be able to measure countries’ progress in getting up to speed to detect, prevent and manage pandemics.

Four systems to measure a nation’s readiness for a pandemic were created. The JEE (Joint External Evaluation) is the one that has been most accepted by the US government and is mentioned in some of the WHO documents.

All four systems failed miserably to predict how well countries would do during the pandemic.

Despite this, these measuring tools (especially the JEE) continue to be touted as important measures of country compliance with the biosecurity agenda.

Yet there was actually an inverse relationship between how well countries scored on the JEE and their per capita mortality early in the pandemic.  in fact, scoring high on a measure of how well a country was prepared to handle a pandemic predicted the opposite:  higher death rates in those more “prepared.”  (See graphic below)