House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) sent a letter to Republican House members on Monday outlining “eight pillars” that they will be pushing to hold China accountable for the pandemic.
The letter noted the significant toll that the pandemic had on the United States and the rest of the world ranging from the loss of life, economic damage, and disruption to nearly everyone’s lives around the world.
The letter stated in part:
The unfortunate reality is that countless friends and family members could have been saved had it not been for the deception of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). A March 2020 report by the University of Southampton found if interventions in China could have been conducted one, two, or three weeks earlier, cases could have been reduced by 66 percent, 86 percent and 95 percent respectively.
Evidence continues to indicate that the CCP intentionally hid information and lied about what it knew to be true about the virus. Additionally, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom knowingly and willfully downplayed or outright denied the Chinese government’s malfeasance, and instead chose to cower to the CCP rather than stand up for the international community.
McCarthy slammed President Joe Biden and Democratic lawmakers for failing to “utilize any of his broad powers to hold China accountable” and for willingly giving “up valuable leverage to force constructive change at the WHO.”
McCarthy highlighted a few recent actions taken by Republican lawmakers in recent weeks:
- Whip Steve Scalise and the Republican Members on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis led our conference (over 200 members) in demanding Speaker Nancy Pelosi allow a congressional probe into the virus’s origins.
- Last week, Chairwoman Elise Stefanik and Congressman Rob Wittman introduced legislation to sanction Chinese officials involved in the coverup. Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Mike McCaul has leveraged his committee and the China Task Force to ensure accountability of the CCP and WHO.
- Congressman Dan Crenshaw introduced legislation last year to give Americans the opportunity to seek damages from China’s deception. Congresswoman Ann Wagner and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick have also introduced legislation to do the same.
McCarthy said that it was crucial for lawmakers to let the American public know that they have their backs and that they will respond with strength “when a foreign entity is responsible for the deaths, loss of livelihoods, and permanent alterations to the way of life of our citizens.”
McCarthy outlined “eight pillars” that Republicans are pushing for to deliver transparency and justice to the American people.
Declassification of Intelligence: House Republicans will introduce legislation to require declassification of information related to the origins of Covid-19, including in any report that comes from President Biden’s recent request.
Prohibit Gain of Function Research in and with China: We must ensure the United States no longer funds any gain of function research conducted in or with China, or any individual with known ties to the CCP.
Prohibition on National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funding to Malevolent Foreign Governments: Congress should prohibit NIH funding to grantees or subgrantees from doing research with irresponsible foreign governments or entities who are intent on harming the United States, its allies, or the American people, such as China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea.
WHO Overhaul and Counterintelligence Investigation: WHO Director-General Tedros should step down from his post at the WHO; Taiwan should be granted observer status at the WHO; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in partnership with the U.S. Intelligence Community, should conduct a counterintelligence investigation into the U.S. medical research establishment to determine the extent to which the governments of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea have infiltrated critical U.S. organizations.
- Investigations and Utilizing Existing Authorities: President Biden and Congress must continue to investigate the origins of Covid-19.
- Visa Restrictions and Sanctions: Congress should pass a new sanctions regime imposing economic sanctions and visa and admissibility restrictions on those in China, associated with the CCP, WHO, or other international organizations who knowingly and willfully participated in the Covid-19 coverup.
- Waiving Chinese Sovereign Immunity: The families of those who have died from Covid-19 should be given the option to file suit against the Chinese government for damages incurred as a result of the reckless conduct of the CCP. Several Republican members, including Dan Crenshaw, Ann Wagner, and Brian Fitzpatrick, have introduced legislation allowing such lawsuits to go forward.
- Relocation of the 24th Olympic Winter Games: Given the CCP’s active coverup of Covid-19 and contribution to the 3.8 million deaths worldwide, China should not be rewarded by allowing Beijing to host the Winter Olympics in 2022.