Opinion: It’s time to reconsider state of emergency declarations for sustained crises

Opinion: It’s time to reconsider state of emergency declarations for sustained crises

Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center discusses a study by the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

Jason Mercier
Washington Policy Center

Sometimes when you see a study you cry tears of joy. This is one of those times. The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law is taking a close look at the extended use of emergency powers across the world, even as the COVID pandemic moves into an endemic phase. Their experts are recommending reforms to emergency powers. 

Jason Mercier
Jason Mercier

From the new O’Neill Institute study:

  • “While these worthy goals may justify the use of emergency powers, what happens when the threat is no longer a short-term emergency? As some regions of the world begin to gradually return to a semblance of normalcy, disease models predict that SARS-CoV-2 may continue circulating for quite some time. While emergency declarations can be useful tools to manage short-term crises, they should be closely scrutinized to ensure that they are not contributing to democratic backsliding.”
     
  • “The clusters of cases that will emerge are now expected and foreseeable — no longer meeting this emergency definition — and could be contained through a more narrowly tailored approach than a state of emergency declaration.”
     
  • “Lifting state of emergencies, however, should not be dependent on a complete eradication of COVID-19. Prolonging states of emergency, especially in the context of inequitable vaccine distribution, will not only continue to stratify public health outcomes, but may also extend to the health of civic, political, and democratic institutions.
     
  • “Where states of emergency are necessary, governments should consider adopting emergency declarations that include sunset clauses or expiration dates, as extending such declarations could require both executive action and action from other branches of government, providing protection against democratic regression. Prolonged states of emergency may have a stifling effect on key democratic principles, including democratic debate, discussion, and participation, even when employed in the most benevolent and well-intentioned ways. Prolonged use of heavy-handed legal tools is cause for concern and must be scrutinized.”
     
  • “We, as a global community, should demand that governments be willing to impose limitations on their own powers, making emergency declarations the exception instead of the rule.”

Can I get an amen?

Jason Mercier is the director of the Center for Government Reform at the Washington Policy Center.

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Margaret
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Margaret
1 month ago

Question. In WA state, I read that counties do have some discretion over how public health policy is carried out. At the Board of Health meeting on Sept. 22, the Clark County and BOH Chair indicated that she understands that the WA state constitution requires Clark County to follow the mask and vaccine mandates proclaimed by the governor. Can Clark County BOH decide whether or not to mandate experimental medical products in Clark County?
The gubernatorial edict to force workers to get an experimental medical injection that may cause serious harm or death flies in the face of Federal Law that Prohibits Mandates of Emergency Use COVID Vaccines, according to ChildrensHealthDefense.org. ” Under federal law, employers and universities cannot legally mandate COVID vaccines because they are unlicensed Emergency Use Authorization products which are, by definition, experimental.”

It’s good news for university students and employees in WA state that Children’s Health Defense has Sued the FDA Over Approval of Pfizer Comirnaty Vaccine“CHD argues that the licensure was a classic “bait and switch,” allowing Pfizer, the Biden administration, the U.S. military and employers to exhort people to take “licensed” vaccines when in fact the vaccines available and being administered continued to be the Pfizer-BioNTech Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) vaccines.”

It’s time to appeal to a Higher Authority than governors, presidents, or the UN as our very lives and health are at stake.

Ken
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Ken
1 month ago

My comments are getting deleted on this site. If you disagree with anything they say your comments won’t be seen.

Andi Schwartz, Webmaster/Graphic Designer
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Reply to  Ken

Hi Ken, I will share with you that we recently changed some settings on our comment platform and it is now having us approve more comments than it used to before them being seen publicly. The only comments we remove are ones that violate our comment policy (usually by use of profanity) and outright SPAM. We have not removed any of your comments. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any further issues: andi.s@clarkcountytoday.com. Thank you.

Ken
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Ken
29 days ago
Reply to  Ken

I retract my former statement. It seems that it was some sort of issue that was not censorship. I apologize for jumping to a false conclusion. Again I apologize.

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