U.S. Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee has called on the Chinese government to take responsibility what she calls “its abject failure to be forthright about the severity of its COVID-19 crisis at its inception.”
“Chinese officials destroyed early COVID-19 test kits, suppressed information and refused international assistance,” Blackburn said in a press release.
“The Communist Party is so petrified of the truth that they kicked out journalists and fabricated a story of where the virus originated. It’s time the Communist Party admits to the serious missteps that heightened the severity and spread of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
The resolution calls on the Chinese government to do the following:
• Publicly state there is no evidence that COVID-19 originated anywhere else but China
• Denounce the baseless conspiracy that the U.S. Army placed COVID-19 in Wuhan
• Revoke its expulsion of American journalists
• End its detainment of Uyghur Muslims and other persecuted ethnic minorities
• End all forced labor programs.
The resolution also condemns the following:
• The Chinese Government censorship of doctors and journalists during the early days of the outbreak and its treatment of the deceased Dr. Li Wenliang
• The Chinese Government’s refusal to allow scientists from the Centers of Disease Control to assist in response to COVID-19 for over a month after cooperation was offered; China’s duplicitous denial of the person-to-person transmissibility of COVID-19.
Lastly, the resolution calls for the World Health Organization Director-General to retract highly misleading statements of support for the Chinese Government’s response to COVID-19, especially his praise for China’s “top leadership, and the transparency they have demonstrated.”
U.S. Republican senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN-03) and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA-06) led companion resolution, the press release said.
As The Tennessee Star reported last week, Blackburn said she wants to minimize Chinese efforts to exert inappropriate influence on American university campuses through Confucius Institutes, which she said repress free speech and discourage transparency.
Blackburn introduced the Transparency for Confucius Institutes Act, which is designed to require program participation agreements between Confucius Institutes and American institutions that house them to address the ways China exerts undue influence.
Congressional efforts helped close many of these institutes, yet many remain.
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