GOP leader McCarthy: China ‘must be held accountable for lies’
23rd June 2021

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is taking aim at Democrats’ handling of China policy, arguing that the Biden administration needs to take a stronger position to hold the Communist nation accountable for its role in the COVID-19 pandemic and its humanitarian abuses. 

The California Republican charged that Democrats have failed to work across the aisle, noting they opted out of the GOP’s China task force, which was initially slated to be bipartisan last year, while highlighting his eight-point plan to address the matter. 

“[China] must be held accountable for their lies. Yet the president of the United States has refused to take any action. The Democrat majority in this House has refused to take any action,” he said at a press conference Wednesday. 

“What’s even worse is this administration sent more than $200 million to the World Health Organization, not asking for reform, not asking why they lied, and not asking why they allowed China to influence them. Then in their budget, [they] proposed more than $100 million more. And Democrats in this Congress spent the last year allowing China to lie.”

McCarthy is calling for action including investigations into the origins of the virus, the declassification of information related to the pandemic and for the relocation of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. His proposal also includes language to bar the National Institutes of Health from funding for “malevolent foreign governments,” a probe and overhaul of the WHO, visa restrictions and sanctions and for waiving Chinese sovereign immunity. 

“The first thing we’re going to do to hold China accountable is declassify intelligence information so the entire world was not just America. And the basis should be since the world suffered completely with this and every nation, we should all know the same information. We should stop gain of function with China, so it never repeats again,” he told reporters. 

“Other nations should know that, too, so they stop as well. We should prohibit NIH from funding, even in the other bad countries — think about Iran, North Korea — what they would do with any of these grants rather. We need to overhaul the World Health Organization, that just didn’t harm America, that harmed the entire world by lying in the process with Chinese control. We need to restrict the visas. And yes, we need to impose sanctions so they feel the pain of what they have done.”

He added that he believes holding the Olympics in Beijing would be a “reward” for a country that withheld critical information that some believe could have proven instrumental in stopping the spread of coronavirus on the world stage. 

Republicans have been vocal in their calls to look into the origins of the virus in the wake of GOP lawmakers initially coming under fire for speculating the deadly virus could have originated in the Wuhan lab. 

“There should be hearings right now in all the committees of jurisdiction should be having hearings into the origin of COVID-19, yet for some mysterious reason, Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] continues to refuse to hold those hearings to hold China accountable,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said. 

“Why would Speaker Pelosi want to cover up for China’s role in the origin of this virus, especially when every day that goes by, makes it harder and harder to get all of the facts that may be available.”

Scalise added that Republicans on the Select Subcommittee on Coronavirus are slated to hold a hearing with experts next week on the matter. 

“We’ve already invited a number of top scientists. Some have accepted. I hope all ultimately come and accept,” he said. “We’re also going to have some of our colleagues who have been investigating different aspects of the origin. It’s long past time for Congress to thoroughly investigate the origins of COVID-19.”

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