House Republicans Wednesday called on the Biden administration and congressional Democrats to take more action to hold China accountable for the coronavirus pandemic as they released their GOP roadmap for achieving justice for the American people who suffered tremendous losses from the global pandemic.
The House GOP leadership outlined eight proposals to crack down on China, including new sanctions and visa restrictions on those in China who knowingly covered up information on the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We need to impose sanctions so they feel the pain of what they have done,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Wednesday at a Capitol news conference.
In this April 22, 2021, file photo, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks during his weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
McCarthy was joined by GOP Whip Steve Scalise, Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik and other Republicans who argued that the Chinese Communist Party needs to pay for the more than 600,000 American lives lost during the coronavirus pandemic. The exact origin of the virus is unclear, but President Biden last month ordered an intelligence investigation into the onset of the virus, including any possibility it leaked from a Wuhan laboratory.
“The world deserves to know the truth,” said Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “We need to find out why because we don’t want this to happen again.”
Other measures the GOP lawmakers proposed in their framework include declassifying intelligence related to the origins of coronavirus, banning so-called “gain of function” research in China, allowing families who lost loved ones to coronavirus to sue China for damages, and relocating the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.
House Republicans have long complained that Democrats weren’t doing enough to investigate China’s role in spreading the pandemic and plan their own GOP forum for June 29 to hear from expert witnesses on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.