Blackburn Discusses China’s COVID-19 Deception with Expert Gordon Chang, Rep. Banks in Virtual Panel

April 14, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, China expert Gordon Chang moderated a virtual panel with Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.). The group discussed the Members’ bipartisan efforts to hold the Chinese government responsible for its abject failure to be forthright about the severity of the COVID-19 crisis at its inception.

To view the virtual panel, click below or here.


On U.S. Debt Held By China:

“I have grandchildren, and I am incredibly concerned about our nation’s future because our freedom is linked to our debt. China owns over $1 trillion… of our debt. We need to have them waive that. That will help repay us for the loss of life, the suffering, the loss of livelihoods, the enormous expense to us today and to future generations.”

On the Dangers of Using Chinese Technology:

“You’ve heard me talk about the dangers of Huawei, and the dangers of having China actually lead the way in 5G expansion, and how they’re going to use that for a global spy network. We know that’s what they’re doing, so let’s stop them in their tracks.”

On Making America Manufacture Again:

“Whether it’s… advanced pharmaceutical ingredients that are necessary for building out our pharmaceutical supply chain, or technology equipment, or component parts for electronics, or automobile parts, we need to bring much of this back to the U.S. I know China wouldn’t like it, but I think it’s time for us to look at this as a national security issue.”

Senator Blackburn’s bipartisan Securing America’s Medicine Cabinet Act seeks to increase American manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), the building blocks of prescription drugs.

Senator Blackburn’s resolution calls on the Chinese Government to:

  • Publicly state there is no evidence that COVID-19 originated anywhere else but China;
  • Denounce the baseless conspiracy that the U.S. Army planted COVID-19 in Wuhan;
  • Revoke its expulsion of American journalists;
  • End its detainment of Uyghur Muslims and other persecuted ethnic minorities; and
  • End all forced labor programs.

The resolution condemns the Chinese Government’s censorship of doctors and journalists, their initial refusal to allow Centers of Disease Control scientists to assist in COVID-19 response; and China’s duplicitous denial of the person-to-person transmissibility of the virus.

Senator Blackburn has been highlighting China’s deception in the COVID-19 pandemic since Day One of the pandemic.

Last week, Senator Blackburn wrote about China’s COVID-19 failures in the Washington Times:

“The depths to which Beijing will sink to retain its grasp on power are well known; but even now, in the face of a second outbreak, CCP officials persist with systemic repression, censorship and outright thuggery to control the flow of information.

“Chinese human rights lawyer Jiangang Chen described to me the atmosphere of chaos and intimidation surrounding lawyers representing victims of COVID-19. Many who attempt to speak out are imprisoned and tortured, while others are contacted by CCP agents and warned to back off.

“Beijing’s harassment of those closest to the pandemic’s origins should illustrate the flimsiness of their narrative. But according to Dr. Jianli Yang, president and founder of Citizen Power Initiatives for China, the CCP’s propaganda machine still enjoys stunning levels of influence, especially over young people. Fortunately, outside the mainland, a new generation of activists is committed to exposing Beijing’s crimes.”

Read the whole article here.

Yesterday, Senator Blackburn led her colleagues in urging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Representative to the United Nations Kelly Craft to address the crackdown of free speech in China and in countries across four continents, including Turkey, Bangladesh, Niger and Cambodia. Many authoritarian regimes are using the COVID-19 pandemic to mask illiberal behaviors such as imprisoning dissidents or restricting the freedom of the press. In China, officials are arresting Tibetans, “disappearing” bloggers, and expelling journalists.

Senator Blackburn has called on international organizations like the World Health Organization and the UN Security Council to reexamine China’s membership.

Senator Blackburn has also joined Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) in his opposition to the appointment of Jiang Duan to the UN Human Rights Council and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in urging the closure of wildlife wet markets in China.