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Hawley, Stefanik Introduce Bill to Investigate China for Coronavirus Coverup

Representative Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York, asks questions during the first public hearings held by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as part of the impeachment inquiry in Washington, D.C., November 13, 2019. (Saul Loeb/Reuters Pool)

Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) and Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) on Tuesday introduced a bicameral resolution to condemn the Chinese Communist Party for its initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak, and called for an international investigation to determine how the coverup hastened the emergence of a global pandemic.

“Since day one, the Chinese Communist Party intentionally lied to the world about the origin of this pandemic. The CCP was aware of the reality of the virus as early as December but ordered laboratories to destroy samples and forced doctors to keep silent,” Hawley, who first called for an investigation last week, said in a press release.

“There is no doubt that China’s unconscionable decision to orchestrate an elaborate coverup of the wide-ranging and deadly implications of coronavirus led to the death of thousands of people, including hundreds of Americans and climbing,” Stefanik added. “This Resolution calls for China to provide compensation for the harm, loss, and destruction their arrogance brought upon the rest of the world. Simply put China must, and will, be held accountable.”

The bill calls on the international community to “quantify the harm caused” by China’s actions and to “design a mechanism for delivering compensation” from the CCP to those affected.

Reports have detailed how Wuhan laboratories in December discovered that coronavirus was related to the deadly SARS virus which broke out in 2002-2003, but were subsequently gagged by government authorities, who ordered them to turn over or destroy evidence.

China has also promoted a propaganda campaign to push a conspiracy theory that the virus originated in the U.S., which experts have called “a counteroffensive” and “a kind of blame-shifting.”

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