Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF
Republican Indiana Rep. Jim Banks called on the State Department on Wednesday to bring a case to the United Nations against China for mishandling coronavirus.
The Indiana representative, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, announced his call to bring China to justice in a Wednesday press release. He will also be circulating a letter around Capitol Hill addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr showing congressional backing for an international case against China.
“If China’s leaders hadn’t become embarrassed by the outbreak and tried to cover up its spread, the world may have had a better chance to prepare for this or even contain it in Wuhan or China,” Banks said in a statement.
He added: “Instead, we have a pandemic. China shoulders most of that blame. Rather than succumb to the propaganda and spin of Chinese officials, the world must hold them accountable for mishandling this outbreak. If the United Nations cannot even do that, it has completely lost its purpose.”
The Indiana representative told the Daily Caller News Foundation earlier this month that he had focused intensely on China for the past couple years due to his status as a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Republican co-chair of the Future of Defense Task Force.
Banks warned of the looming coronavirus pandemic days before many of his fellow lawmakers began taking the virus seriously, and credits his foresight to his ongoing focus on China as a threat to national security.
Time to begin a conversation about how to hold China accountable for Coronavirus. They, not US taxpayers, should be footing most of the bill. By rejecting CDC from studying the virus & suppressing warnings about its threat they are largely responsible for the current crisis!
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) March 14, 2020
“It wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has been following China’s actions, their misinformation campaign, their propaganda, apparatus and effort, that we would see many of the actions that we’ve seen come out of China,” Banks told the DCNF April 1.
He also noted that had United States lawmakers focused their attention on China and China’s pattern of misinformation and propaganda, the United States might not be in its coronavirus trajectory.