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(LifeSiteNews) – Microsoft co-founder and left-wing financier Bill Gates is calling for a global “fire department for pandemics” to avoid “making the same mistakes” as were made in response to COVID-19, backing a World Health Organization (WHO) project amid concerns about American sovereignty being ceded to the international body.

Writing March 19 in the New York Times, Gates likens the handling of public health emergencies to firefighting, which requires a rapid response fully prepared to not just stop the fire where it is but prevent it from spreading to other homes. “The same is true for infectious diseases, except on a much bigger scale,” he says.

“I’m optimistic about a network that the W.H.O. and its partners are building called the Global Health Emergency Corps,” Gates writes. To be effective, he argues, this corps will need “large-scale testing capabilities,” “[e]nvironmental surveillance like sewage testing,” funding in the trillions of dollars, and “professionals from every country and region,” built on “existing networks of experts and be led by people like the heads of national public health agencies and their leads for epidemic response.”

All of the above “will require two things: First, public health leaders from all countries need to participate,” Gates says. “The next ‌pandemic could emerge anywhere, and so the Emergency Corps must have expertise from every corner of the globe, including from national disease and research agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health in the United States. Second, we need wealthier countries to step up and provide funding to make this a reality.”

While the op-ed focuses on superficially innocuous measures, it advocates an overall vision in which substantial discretion would be given to the WHO, which is currently considering a pandemic treaty that would empower it to dictate the pandemic policies of its 194 member states, despite WHO’s mishandling of the COVID outbreak.

It also doubles down on maintaining the influence of the same federal health bureaucracy behind lockdown, masking, and vaccination policies that evidence now suggests did more harm than good, and which mounting evidence suggests worked to stifle discussion of the virus’s origins for political or ideological reasons.

Gates himself is one of those “experts,” who despite his lack of medical expertise emerged as a leading voice for the establishment COVID response, only to admit in January that the COVID vaccines did not prevent infections, were ineffective against new variants, and therefore did not sufficiently protect the elderly.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the second largest financial contributor to the WHO, after the U.S. federal government.