Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) is calling for sanctions against top Chinese health officials until they allow an independent investigation into the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origins of COVID-19. Wittman and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) introduced The World Deserves to Know Act on Tuesday.
“We cannot allow China to impede a free and fair investigation into the origins of COVID-19,” Wittman said in a press release. “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.”
According to the press release, the act directs intelligence activity to identify people who worked to suppress information relating to COVID-19 and the Wuhan Institute. It focuses on prohibiting federal funds and contracts between U.S. agencies and universities and Chinese-based institutes and universities affiliated with China’s National Health Commission (NHC). It also directs a review of National Institute of Health funding which has gone to the NHC. It also advocates for upgrading Taiwan’s status in the World Health Assembly, given Taiwan’s early warnings of COVID-19.
Stefanik’s press release states that the act is also focused on intellectual property theft and human rights abuses.
“This legislation would also instruct President Biden to work with the Intelligence Community to identify members of the Chinese Communist Party involved in the persecution of whistleblowers and citizen journalists and sanction them for human rights abuses,” Stefanik’s press release states.
Stefanik said, “In addition to intellectual property theft, the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in the genocide of their own minority Uyghur population, the ongoing repression in Hong Kong, and blatant coverup of the origin of COVID-19 – which has led to an economic crisis and loss of human life across the globe, including the loss of nearly 600,000 Americans. A thorough, unimpeded investigation is necessary to determine the extent of their actions and prevent the Chinese Communist Party from financially benefiting, in any form, especially at the expense of the American people.”
Wittman has made multiple Fox News appearances in the past few days to discuss the bill. In an appearance Tuesday on Your World With Neil Cavuto, Wittman said Democratic chairmen said they wouldn’t hold necessary hearings on the bill.
“They say that it takes away accountability from President Trump,” Wittman said, according to a transcript from Wittman’s office. “They’re making this about politics. This should be about holding China accountable. Shouldn’t we want to get to the truth? They don’t seem to want to get to the truth. They seem to want to make this about partisan politics.”
“I think more leaders around the world are beginning to see the full picture,” Wittman said. “Those are world-renowned experts that are starting to call into question these issues. I think countries around the world are saying China needs to be held accountable. They need to be transparent. They need to be open and have an independent investigation about truly what happened there at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
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