Florida Congressional Republicans Back Bill Holding China Accountable for Coronavirus

Florida Republicans on Capitol Hill have lined up behind U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s, R-SC, and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins’s, R-Ga., proposal giving the White House the ability to sanction China if it fails to be more transparent about the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Graham introduced the “COVID-19 Accountability Act” earlier this month.

“I’m convinced that without Chinese Communist Party deception the virus would not be here in the United States,” said Graham when he brought out the bill. “China refuses to allow the international community to go into the Wuhan lab to investigate. They refuse to allow investigators to study how this outbreak started. I’m convinced China will never cooperate with a serious investigation unless they are made to do so. This hard-hitting piece of legislation will sanction China until they cooperate with investigators.  We must determine how the virus came about and take steps, like closing the wet markets, to ensure it never happens again. It’s time we push back against China and hold them accountable. More than eighty thousand Americans are dead and millions more are jobless today because of China’s failure to contain and prevent the spread of the virus.”

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., was one of the original cosponsors of the proposal.

“Communist China started a global pandemic and failed to provide any information that could have helped save thousands of lives. They need to be held accountable. If Communist China refuses to be honest about the origins of the coronavirus, the U.S. will not wait for history to judge them harshly. We will take action and we will do everything we can to hold Communist China accountable for the devastation they have caused around the world,” Scott said.

The White House would have to certify that China has closed all wet markets, released pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong and be more transparent in regards to coronavirus. Otherwise, the president would have the ability to sanction China.

Over in the U.S. House, five Republicans from the Sunshine State–Gus Bilirakis, Mario Diaz-Balart, John Rutherford, Greg Steube and Michael Waltz–cosponsored Collins’s bill.

Rutherford weighed in on his support of the proposal this week.

“The Chinese Communist Party must be held accountable for their coronavirus cover-up,” said Rutherford on Tuesday. “For months, they hid data, silenced scientists and health care professionals, and limited information to the rest of the world concerning the seriousness of this virus. They are directly responsible for the global suffering and the tens of thousands of deaths here in the U.S. To make matters worse, the Chinese Communist Party refuses to allow international investigators into Wuhan to study how this outbreak began. America should use all of the tools at its disposal to make sure China complies with a transparent investigation and puts safeguards in place to prevent a future pandemic.”

Graham’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. While he has more than 30 cosponsors, Collins has his work cut out for him with the bill already being sent to five different committees.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

3 COMMENTS

  1. One: Sorry about being negative, but Rick Scott could have done a lot more good by expanding Medicaid for free when he was governor then donating his salary now to help the homeless! Too little, too late!

    Two: Also, can you share with other businesses some of the re-opening measures that you mentioned?

    Three: While many are eager to punish China for releasing the coronavirus, are you sure that spending so much time on that topic is the best use of your time? Also, I understand that the Donald Trump eliminated a pandemic response program that the Obama administration had already set up!

  2. I agree with Barbara and her comments.

    I don’t see the point of spending time and money on finding reasons to punish China, the horse got out of the stable and bolted, you cannot bring it back so quit spending tax payer money and time on a useless quest.

    And, yes, I too heard that President Obama had a great pandemic response program that the tRump got rid of it along with all the good environmental laws he is peeling back (to make people sick with poor air quality) and give his buddies in big business even more money to add to their piles earned by greed.

  3. This issue has already been investigated more than once by scientists who are experts in epidemiology. They found it to be false.
    The only reason for politicians to be investigating it again is to try to distract us from Donald Trump’s total mismanagement of the pandemic right from the start. We wait with baited breath for the “miracle” that will take it all away.

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