Politics & Policy

Hawley Calls for ‘Full, International Investigation’ into China’s Coronavirus Coverup

Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) listens as acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in Washington, U.S., May 23, 2019. (James Lawler Duggan/Reuters)

Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) on Wednesday warned the Chinese Communist Party that it would have “to pay” for its attempts to coverup the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, and called for a “full, international investigation” to get to the bottom of the situation.

“There needs to be a full, international investigation of #China Communist Party’s actions that helped turn #coronavirus #COVID19 into a global pandemic,” Hawley tweeted Wednesday morning.

The freshman senator was referencing a story that Beijing has attempted to drown out with a propaganda campaign. China on Tuesday stripped press passes from reporters at the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post who were stationed in China and Hong Kong, its latest action to escape accountability and international censure over its handling the outbreak.

In December, genomics laboratories in Wuhan sequenced coronavirus and discovered it closely resembled the deadly SARS virus which broke out in 2002-2003, but were subsequently gagged by authorities, who ordered them to turn over or destroy the samples.

Hawley, a China hawk who slammed the regime for its crackdown on Hong Kong protestors in the fall, has been vocal in recent months as the coronavirus pandemic grew. He sent a letter in January to the heads of four government agencies to ask whether the Trump administration was considering any potential Chinese travel ban to prevent an American outbreak of the coronavirus — a move the White House made soon after.

Last month, the senator introduced legislation to reorient medical supply chains and to reduce reliance on China for the manufacture of certain prescription drugs and other medical supplies.

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