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Senator Ted Cruz has introduced legislation to hold China accountable for its role in the coronavirus pandemic and initially covering up the outbreak.
The Texas Republican discussed the responsibility of the Chinese government in a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity as U.S. officials have become more confident that COVID-19 originated in a laboratory in the city of Wuhan.
(Source: Fox News)
“China’s responsibility and culpability for this pandemic is enormous and there’s at least three different aspects of what China has done that should be deeply concerning,” Cruz said on “Hannity” this week.
The first of the points shared by the senator was that COVID-19, which has been responsible for the deaths of over 156,000 people worldwide, originated in a Chinese lab. He noted that there are two labs in Wuhan “controlled by the Chinese government that were studying not just coronaviruses but bat coronaviruses within miles of where this outbreak occurred.”
Despite State Department concerns being raised multiple times about the safety and security of the labs, the Chinese government, Cruz noted, has “refused to answer” whether they were studying the novel coronavirus in one of these labs and “did it escape accidentally.”
“They are stonewalling and refusing to answer that,” Cruz said before going on to his second count of China’s guilt.
The senator accused the Chinese Communist Party of a cover-up, keeping silent about the virus for weeks as they “tried to hide and try to obscure this outbreak.”
“When you had physician whistleblowers bravely try to blow the whistle on this, the Chinese government came down on them, they silenced them,” Cruz told Hannity. “If they behaved like an ordinary, responsible government, there is a very real possibility we could have gone in with health professionals, contained this outbreak, quarantined those infected and kept it as a regional outbreak rather than a global pandemic.”
The Texas lawmaker then pointed out that the U.S. should be concerned about its supply chain, including pharmaceuticals and medical devices, being sent to China.
“We have got to correct that and bring those critical supply chains back to the United States,” he urged.
“They hid it, they protected their own people. They let the rest of the world get infected and die,” Hannity responded. “They saved themselves and knowingly knew the risk for the rest of the world, that would mean they had blood on their hands.”
If China had not covered things up and “hadn’t been afraid of being embarrassed,” there wouldn’t be a global pandemic facing the world, Cruz contended.
“There needs to be serious accountability. There needs to be serious transparency and the Chinese Communist government doesn’t want to see it,” Cruz said, adding that same could be said about the mainstream media in the U.S. which devoted early reports to “debunking” what they called the conspiracy theories about China’s culpability.
“The argument from science is that it doesn’t appear that this virus was created in a lab, that it appears to be naturally occurring,” Cruz explained. “The question is not was it artificially constructed, the question is were they studying this virus from that and did they screw up and accidentally infect someone and let it out? And they don’t want to answer that question.”
“Most of the mainstream media doesn’t even want to acknowledge the question exists,” he added.
Cruz, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced his proposed legislation called the “Ending Chinese Medical Censorship and Cover Ups Act of 2020,” earlier this week and said it would be just “one of the necessary steps” he would undertake when the Senate reconvenes to hold Chinese officials accountable.
“China’s censorship and suppression are now not only a threat to human rights in China and around the world, they are a direct threat to U.S. national security and our economy,” he said when introducing the bill.
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