Elected officials from the Sunshine State reacted this week after the Biden administration announced it will not send official representatives to the 2022 Winter Olympics in China early next year–with one congressman from Florida calling for a full boycott.
“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told the media on Monday. “The athletes on Team USA have our full support. We will be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from home. We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the Games.
“U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these Games as business as usual in the face of the PRC’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang. And we simply can’t do that,” she added. “As the president has told President Xi, standing up for human rights is in the DNA of Americans. We have a fundamental commitment to promoting human rights. And we feel strongly in our position, and we will continue to take actions to advance human rights in China and beyond.”
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who has been pushing the administration on the matter, weighed in on the news and said that President Joe Biden did not do enough.
“President Biden had the chance to actually stand up to Beijing’s genocide and human rights abuses, but again, he has chosen appeasement and weakness over strength and resolve. Time and time again, Biden does the bare minimum when it comes to dealing with China and it’s absolutely unacceptable. Now, the Biden administration is going to engage in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympic Games, distracting from the fact that Biden has spent months ignoring calls from me, human rights groups and others to demand that the International Olympic Committee to move the Games to a country that actually respects human rights. Biden’s weak choice for a diplomatic boycott also does nothing to ensure the safety of American athletes who will undoubtedly be targets for Communist China to surveil and steal data and personal information,” Scott said.
“As a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I am calling on the Department of Homeland Security to explain to the committee what they are doing to ensure athletes are protected while traveling to Beijing. Their safety and security cannot be put in jeopardy,” Scott added.
U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., called for a full boycott of the Winter Olympics.
“As America finds itself at the forefront of several self-imposed domestic hurdles, the world is also taking advantage of our weakness on the international stage. Just four months ago, our nation and the rest of the world witnessed the derelict withdrawal from Afghanistan that left 13 of our service members dead and our integrity on the world stage in chaos. While many Americans continue to focus on the mounting issues at home, be it raising gas prices, the border crisis, skyrocketing inflation, and the resurgence of COVID-related mandates, our adversaries have been on the move––especially the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” Donalds said.
“As we rapidly approach the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, I think it was the correct call by the president to hold a diplomatic boycott of the games in response to China’s human rights abuses and crimes against humanity. While this boycott is the right message to the CCP and the world, it does not go far enough. The Biden-Harris administration must stand even firmer and call for a complete boycott of the games and prohibit all American participation from the Olympic games,” Donalds continued. “As we witness increased tensions in Taiwan, Ukraine, and Iran, it is abundantly clear our foes are testing Biden at every turn and capitalizing on his administration’s weakness. It is time Biden and his counterparts intensify their message to the world; we will not tolerate China’s brutal and inhumane actions against the Uyghurs.
“We must entirely boycott the 2022 Winter Games,” Donalds concluded.
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