U.S. senators have introduced a bill, which authorizes President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on China if the country’s communist authorities fail to cooperate and provide a full accounting of the events leading up to the outbreak of the CCP Virus, or COVID-19.
Under the COVID-19 Accountability Act, which was introduced by the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman and eight other senators on Tuesday, May 12, President Trump would be required to make a certification to Congress within 60 days that China has provided a full and complete accounting to any virus investigation led by the United States, its allies, or U.N. affiliate such as the World Health Organization (WHO).
The legislation also mandates the president to make a certification to U.S. lawmakers that China has closed all operating wet markets that have the potential to expose humans to health risks through the introduction of disease into the human population, as well as released all Hong Kong pro-democracy advocates that were arrested in the post COVID-19 crackdowns.
“Without certification, the President would be authorized to impose a range of sanctions such as asset freezes, travel bans, visa revocations, restricting United States financial institutions from making loans or underwriting to Chinese businesses, and prohibiting Chinese firms from being listed on American stock exchanges,” the bill stated.
Sen. Graham (R-S.C) said he is convinced that “without Chinese Communist Party (CCP) deception the virus would not be here in the United States,” which has recorded nearly 87,000 deaths from the CCP Virus as of Thursday.
Graham said the CCP has refused to allow the international community to go into the Wuhan lab to investigate and not allowed investigators to study how the virus outbreak started.
“I’m convinced China will never cooperate with a serious investigation unless they are made to do so,” Graham said. “This hard-hitting piece of legislation will sanction China until they cooperate with investigators.”
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) added, “The Chinese Communist Party must be held accountable for the detrimental role they played in this pandemic. Their outright deception of the origin and spread of the virus cost the world valuable time and lives as it began to spread.”
The bill is also co-sponsored by Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
Following the Senate legislation, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) on Wednesday introduced the sanction bill in the House.
“While the Chinese Communist regime has inflicted harm on the U.S. for decades, the coronavirus outbreak has shined a light on the urgent need to change course,” said Collins.
“The Chinese Communist regime’s coverup of the coronavirus (CCP Virus) outbreak cost hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide and caused unfathomable harm to the global economy, and they must be held accountable. By giving the president the authority to impose a wide range of sanctions on Chinese officials, the COVID-19 Accountability Act will guarantee China (the CCP) is held fully accountable for the worldwide devastation they’ve caused and will ensure the American people get the answers they deserve,” he said.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, President Trump said that he will look into the legislation.
“I will certainly look at it (the legislation), they build to sanction China (the CCP) so I will certainly take a look at it. I have not seen it yet,” the president said.