Scholars have continually described global health as unique from other forms of governance due to its unstructured plurality (wherein non-state actors are as important as states). This article argues that this conceptualisation is becoming increasingly outdated. While non-state actors have agenda-setting influence, the implementation of their agendas is now predominately contingent on the nation state. This is particularly evident within global health crises. During crises, non-state actors typically have their authority undermined by states. Hegemonic states also tend to dictate governance within weaker states, and further undermine the authority of non-state actors. This article examines two recent health crises that have seen states become the most powerful actors within global health governance. The first crisis is the Ebola virus epidemic (2013-2016). The second crisis is the on-going COVID-19 (as officially used by WHO) pandemic (2019-).