Today we present an in-depth investigation by American writer Susan Guest into how the US responded to Covid. It is an analysis that will strike a chord here in Britain, where our long-cherished liberties were cancelled overnight by a government caught confused and off-balance while following the diktats of dubious science.
The research for this four-part series began five weeks ago, when Susan first came across claims that the amendments to the International Health Regulations would ‘usurp our Constitution’ and ‘cede our sovereignty to the World Health Organisation’ if ‘adopted by two-thirds of the World Health Assembly in May 2022.’
This led to a deep dive into exactly what laws DID govern the response to Covid-19. This first part deals with the US federal and state responses to the pandemic.
THE responses to Covid by countries and US states, from Tanzania and Belarus who repudiated it all, to Australia and New Zealand who transformed themselves into gulags, have been as varied as they have been confusing.
The differences in how US states chose to handle Covid were no less dramatic, with Florida free and open while the sale of garden seeds was prohibited in Wisconsin.
This is why I decided to look into what the international treaties, agreements, and regulations, plus which domestic federal, state, and local laws were, that govern responses under conditions of declared ‘public health emergencies of international concern’ (PHEICs).
I’m not a lawyer or a medical practitioner. I’m simply asking reasonable questions pertaining to a world-altering event fraught with conflicting and, in hindsight (or foresight had any deviation from the prevailing narrative been permitted) very damaging ‘recommendations.’
Were these recommendations and mandates laws? Were they treaties or agreements? And whose? Federal law? State law? My theme in all of my writings is: How can we ensure this never happens again? And my conclusion is that we have far bigger problems than just Covid.
This article covers US domestic responses under existing laws. International law contained in the International Health Regulations (2005,) a treaty 196 countries are signatory to with the World Health Organisation, is the next article in the series.
The third article will discuss the financial flows unleashed by the declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the WHO, which lesser-developed countries clamour for without a full understanding of the possible binding ramifications, such as being forced to pledge your seaport in exchange for vaccines.
The fourth part will discuss our ideological divide, which I conclude is the true driver of the Covid crisis globally and in fact, ALL responses to ‘health emergencies.’
The laws that governed the US response to Covid are the 10th Amendment, the Commerce Clause, the Federal Public Health Service Act of 1944, Executive Orders, and individual public health statutes of all 50 states.
The 10th Amendment to the US Constitution gives states all powers not specifically given to the federal government and allows the states to take public health emergency actions such as quarantines and business restrictions within their borders.
This is why each state was governed under its specific public health statutes for all matters related to Covid.
State health statutes function to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons within their borders. To control the spread of disease, the use of isolation and quarantine fall within police powers of individual states under declared health emergencies.
This is why we saw horrific police force used in some states as well as responses that defied reason, such as arresting the lone paddle boarder in California, and filling a skateboard park with sand so as to render it unusable.
It has been truly surreal for me to have been in Florida since July of 2020 and hear frantic discussions on National Public Radio from other parts of the country regarding ‘how to reopen schools safely’ when our children in Florida have been in school, mask-free, the whole time I’ve been here. This is narrative control on steroids when all anyone had to do was ask us how things are in Florida!
These laws vary from state to state and can be specific or broad. As part of researching this article, I looked up the Free State of Florida’s Public Health Statutes and was appalled to see the following clause included: ‘If there is no practical method to isolate or quarantine the individual, the State Health Officer may use any means necessary to treat the individual …’
These statutes are dated 2021 and call for the submission, by July 21, 2022, of a ‘State Public Health Emergency Management Plan.’ My plan is to make my voice heard loud and clear on this matter regarding ‘any means necessary’. Florida governor Ron DeSantis leads the country in terms of Covid management, but what might a successor do?
The Commerce Clause of the US Constitution originally gave the federal government its authority for isolation and quarantine at ports of entry from foreign countries, and for those traveling between states.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the US public health agency, can trace its history back to when America was first becoming a country. Immigrants were arriving by ship and states handled quarantines.
The process became federalised over time, leading to federally-run quarantine centers at ports of entry run by what eventually became the CDC.
The Public Health Service Act of 1944 clearly established the federal government’s quarantine authority for the first time. The gave the US Public Health Service responsibility for preventing the introduction, transmission, and spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the US.
The Act authorises the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to lead federal public health and medical responses related to public health emergencies. This power has been delegated to the CDC.
Hence, the CDC is authorised to take measures to prevent the entry and spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States and between states.
The CDC is also authorised to detain, medically examine, and release persons arriving into the United States and traveling between states who are suspected of carrying these communicable diseases.
Because the public health power of the federal government, through HHS and delegated to the CDC, emanates from the Commerce Clause, and because the CDC’s legal authority applies to disease coming into the country and traveling between states, the federal government, HHS, and CDC did not interfere with, or attempt to, supersede state health laws.
Thus far, Joe Biden has issued 12 Executive Orders concerning covid. It was Biden’s EO 13998 that ordered that masks be worn on planes and in airports, trains, buses and ferries. This was recently declared unlawful and vacated entirely by a federal judge in Florida.
Biden could only affect that which HHS powers delegated to the CDC can – ports of entry and interstate travel that fall under federal jurisdiction, just as he could only mandate the jab for federal employees.
Tomorrow I will examine the legal authority of the World Health Organisation.