Attorney General Paxton, along with the State of Oklahoma, is suing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) to remove an illegal regulation from federal law that cedes our sovereignty to the World Health Organization (“WHO”).  

Under federal law, HHS has been granted certain police powers to respond to public health emergencies. The Obama-era rule at issue in the lawsuit—which was finalized the day before former President Trump took office—grants the WHO the authority to determine and define what a “public health emergency” is for domestic purposes.   

Late last year, the Biden Administration refused a petition filed by a group of states to eliminate a part of the federal code that delegates to the WHO the authority to invoke emergency health powers in the United States. Allowing decisions of the corrupt and inept WHO to bind the actions of the United States domestically is an unprecedented abdication of national sovereignty.  

This ability to arbitrarily define when the federal government can exert authority over the United States represents a serious threat to our Constitutional order and system of federalism. The continued existence of this regulation is even more disconcerting when considering the WHO’s reliance and close ties to our geopolitical enemy, China, which was on full display during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“The Biden Administration’s defense of granting the WHO the authority to determine when the federal government ought to violate the rights of our citizens is alarming to say the least, and it must not be allowed to stand,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Absolutely no foreign power should have the ability to exert police powers over Texas or any other state, and that is especially true for a foreign entity with as troubled of a history as the WHO.” 

To read the full lawsuit, click here