Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon reports on Capitol Hill concerns about communist China.

Three Republican lawmakers have called on the Trump administration to sanction several senior Chinese government officials over their efforts to conceal information about the coronavirus and imprison those who sought to provide the world with information.

In a letter to the State and Treasury Departments sent on Monday, Reps. Jim Banks (R., Ind.), a member of the House China Task Force, Lance Gooden (R., Texas), and Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas) urged the Trump administration to sanction at least 10 top Communist Party officials, exercising its power under the Magnitsky Act, which permits the U.S. government to punish global human-rights abusers.

The push for sanctions under the Magnitsky Act is the latest sign of an emerging consensus among increasingly hawkish Republican lawmakers in Congress that China must be held accountable for its behavior in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers have recently initiated investigations into Chinese infiltration of the U.S. medical research community and colleges, as well as China’s long-running lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, in an effort to penalize the country for its coronavirus response. …

… As the coronavirus first emerged, China detained medical and hospital workers, ordering them to destroy samples of the virus that could have been used to help develop an international response, according to the lawmakers. China has also threatened to sanction leading Republican lawmakers, including Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.), for their efforts to hold the country responsible. Banks and his colleagues said their latest effort is in response to these threats.

“All of these baffling and damaging decisions harmed Chinese citizens and the rest of the world, encouraged the spread of COVID-19, and hindered governments around the world from crafting an effective pandemic response,” the lawmakers wrote.

Follow Carolina Journal Online’s continuing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here.