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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., believes China has permanently damaged its reputation around the globe over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Amid reports that the U.S. government is investigating whether the COVID-19 virus was accidentally released from a Chinese lab — the COVID-19 outbreak originated in the city of Wuhan, home to some of China’s top research laboratories — and plenty of speculation over the possibility that it was intentional biochemical warfare, Rubio appeared on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum” to highlight Beijing’s lack of transparency in the face of the pandemic.
As host Martha MacCallum noted in setting up the segment, there are reports that a Chinese lab worker became infected and passed the virus on to her partner, and that she may be the “Patient Zero.”
“It would be a dramatic, earth-shattering revelation if, in fact, it turns out to be the case,” Rubio said. “And that would be the case for two reasons. Number one, it’s one thing that someone became infected in the lab and infected some other people. That’s concerning, that the same safety standards there are not high.”
“But another thing completely is that a government, when they learn of it, would actively attempt to cover it up as they have, if that’s the case,” he added. “You know, from the very beginning of this crisis, the Chinese have been less than transparent.”
The senator said if something like that happened in the U.S., there would be almost immediate accountability because we are an open democratic society.
“I think there’s going to be — it would be a tremendous global scandal, one of the most outrageous things to happen in the modern history of the world if that were to turn out to be true,” he said of the possibility that China tried to cover up the truth.
Rubio would go on to liken it to Chernobyl and how the Soviet government reacted to the nuclear accident, if true.
He said there are already conversations about whether China should be contributing to some sort of global fund to help pay reparations for what poor countries are enduring.
“Here’s the truth, China’s reputation globally has already been badly damaged,” Rubio insisted. “There are plenty of countries out there that know exactly how China mishandled this. Irrespective of whether it came out of the lab or not, they are not talking about it because their economies are not big enough to take China on directly. But the damage that China has suffered to its perception around the world is in many ways irreparable.”
There was further discussion about how many of our pharmaceutical drugs are made in China, with Rubio referring to a previous report he did on China.
“There are some things that. even if they are cheaper to make somewhere else, we have to be able to make in our own country for our own security,” he noted. “Thank God for the American farmer. Thank God we didn’t outsource that.”
“The world is overly dependent on China and our supply chain,” he added. “And yes, it’s cheaper to do those things over there but we cannot afford from an economic and national security standpoint to not have the industrial capacity to do things, not to mention the jobs that come with it.”
MacCallum closed out the segment by saying, “If it turns out that [China] sat on this for six days and didn’t tell anyone, held a huge international festival, knowing this, in Wuhan and then let people fly all over the world afterwards, that, as you say, is going to be an international scandal of epic proportion.”
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