On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., threw his support behind U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s, R-SC, bill 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” on Monday and he and other senators showcased it on Tuesday.
“I’m convinced that without Chinese Communist Party deception the virus would not be here in the United States,” said Graham. “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.”
“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 on Tuesday.
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.
Graham’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Monday. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. House.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.