The Preventing International Influence on Public Health Emergencies Act

Bill Summary 

In light of pervasive and widespread abuse of public health authorities during the COVID-19  pandemic, legislation is required to curb governors’ ability to invoke emergency authority during  public health crises. Specifically, it is critical to preempt and prohibit governors from utilizing  health guidance from international governmental organizations to justify lockdowns and business  closures in the name of public health emergencies. 

The Preventing International Influence on Public Health Emergencies Act provides a clear-cut  approach for state legislators to prohibit state executives from locking down their citizens and  shuttering businesses. Additionally, the bill explicitly prevents governors from utilizing guidance  concocted by entities like the World Health Organization (WHO) to implement emergency  public health authority while creating strong–and frequent–checks on governors for actual  emergency declarations. 

Bill Highlights 

• Defines “international governmental organization” as any multinational organization  wherein member nations determine how that organization operates, votes, or manages  funds. This definition, therefore, captures a vast swath of international entities seeking to  exert control over free people. 

• Deems any public health emergency order issued by the President of the United States, a  federal agency, a state governor, or a state agency based on recommendations from an  international governmental organization to be automatically either unconstitutional or in  violation of the provisions of this law. 

• Requires any public health emergency order based on recommendations from an  international governmental organization to be ratified by the Senate as a treaty, pass both  houses of Congress, and signed into law by the President. 

• Constrains the ability of a governor to declare an emergency by limiting declarations to  no more than 7 calendar days. In order for a governor to extend an emergency  

declaration, he or she must secure two-thirds support from the state legislature. 

• Prohibits a governor from enacting lockdowns or forcible business closures with only two  extraordinary exceptions: a biological or chemical attack carried out against a city or state  and a natural disaster that results in significant public health dangers due to the  

proliferation of raw sewage and toxic contamination. 

• Even under these two extraordinary circumstances, a governor’s public health powers last  only 7 calendar days, remains confined solely to the area of impact, and require a two thirds supermajority in the state legislature to extend for another 7 calendar days. 

• The bill locks in a requirement for overwhelming bipartisan and bicameral support to  invoke and maintain public health emergency powers during an extreme event. This  ensures that such power is not utilized lightly and that elected officials remain  

accountable on a weekly basis to citizens for their decisions to invoke or continue such  powers.

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