by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
House Republicans are targeting the Chinese Communist Party for covering up the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and allowing it to escape the city of Wuhan, killing millions across the globe.
Reps. Rob Wittman (R., Va.) and Ann Wagner (R., Mo.) introduced bills Tuesday that order the imposition of Global Magnitsky Sanctions on Chinese Communist Party officials and health authorities, the same sanctions that are used to punish human rights abusers worldwide.
The World Deserves to Know Act, introduced by Wittman, would investigate research funding from the National Institutes of Health that may have played a role in the outbreak, applying pressure on efforts to discover the coronavirus’s origins. The measure also proposes banning future cooperation between U.S. colleges and Chinese research institutions that may have been implicated in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak.
Wittman said the act will “pave the way to uncover the truth” about the coronavirus in order to prevent a future pandemic.
“We cannot allow China to impede a free and fair investigation into the origins of COVID-19,” Wittman said. “Nor can we tolerate China’s suppression of information, which could prove critically important to preventing future pandemics. The sanctions imposed by the World Deserves to Know Act pave the way to uncover the truth about COVID-19’s origins.”
The Compensation for Americans Act, introduced by Wagner, would redouble calls to sanction certain members of the Chinese Communist Party and establish a fund for the families of U.S. victims of the coronavirus. The bill would also strip China of its “developing nation” status at the World Trade Organization and bar the investment of U.S. pensions in China, among other economic punishments.
Wagner said her legislation would “send a message to China that the United States will not stand for such horrific acts.”